Global lawmakers grill Facebook exec in United Kingdom parliament


Facebook has cautioned Collins that these documents, from 2013 and 2014, were compiled as part of a "meritless" legal case that the small tech company was bringing against Facebook, and the documents were "sealed" by the American courts, meaning they weren't supposed to be seen by outsiders.

It is alleged that the documents contain significant revelations about Facebook decisions on data and privacy controls that caused the Cambridge Analytica scandal, including correspondence between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and company executives.

When the Six4Three company founder failed to do so, he was taken to parliament, where he was told that he risked fines and even imprisonment if he didn't hand over the documents.

The move came from Conservative MP Damian Collins, who reportedly invoked "a rare parliamentary mechanism" to force the disclosure while Zuckerberg was staying at a London hotel.

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Mr Collins commented on the incident to the Observer, saying: "We are in uncharted territory".

Allan was responding to Canadian lawmaker Charlie Angus, who said the social media giant has "lost the trust of the worldwide community to self-police", and that lawmakers have to start looking at ways to hold the company accountable.

He criticised Facebook's lack of cooperation with his committee, and said the "documents contained answers to some of the questions we have been seeking about the use of data, especially by external developers".

Members of the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and "fake news", which includes representatives from seven international parliaments, will join MPs to cross-examine Allan.

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The Cambridge Analytica scandal stems from the discovery that an academic at the University of Cambridge - Dr Aleksandr Kogan - used a personality quiz to harvest up to 87 million Facebook users' details.

He sent the House of Commons serjeant-at-arms to seize documents from an American businessman involved in a legal dispute with Facebook.

Damian Collins, in charge of the hearing and committee, said in a Sunday tweet that he had reviewed the documents.

It's suing Facebook over a change to the social network's privacy policies in 2015 that led to the company having to shut down its app, Pikinis, which let users find photos of their friends in bikinis and bathing suits by searching their friends list.

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