UK Parliament Considers Publishing Confidential Facebook Docs

The U.K. Parliament could release confidential documents on Facebook that it seized, as soon as this week, as the pressure on the social media’s executives mounts in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

According to a report in the Financial Times (FT), citing Damian Collins, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, the regulator said there are “very important and very relevant” documents that have been obtained from the founder of Six4Three, a U.S. app developer, who was in London on a business trip. Founder Ted Kramer was compelled to hand over the documents due to an order by the government — the serjeant-at-arms went to Kramer’s hotel to ensure he complied, FT reported.

Kramer had internal Facebook documents, some of which were from senior executives, regarding data policies. The documents dated back to between 2013 and 2014. They were already reviewed, but Collins wouldn’t comment on their content. He did say his committee is meeting on Tuesday (Nov. 27), and that he has the power to publish the documents if he chooses to do so. Six4Three could shed light on the policies Facebook had in place at the time, covering tens of millions of social media network users’ data.

Cambridge Analytica was able to access data on millions of Facebook users without their permission, as it worked on the campaign of President Donald Trump. That scandal has put a spotlight on Facebook and how it deals with user data.

In a letter to Collins issued on Sunday (Nov. 25), FT reported that Richard Allan, vice president of policy solutions at Facebook, said, “The court that sealed the documents is due to consider these latest developments as early as tomorrow. It will be helpful for all of us to see Six4Three’s explanation, and any directions given by the judge in this case as we consider their legal status.”

The documents aren’t expected to shed light on fake news, which will be the focus of a hearing next week that will include members of parliament from Brazil, Singapore, Latvia, Canada, Argentina, Australia and Ireland.


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