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  • UK Parliament Seize Facebook Docs in Analytica Scandal Probe.

    UK Parliament Seize Facebook Docs in Analytica Scandal Probe. | Photo: Reuters

Published 25 November 2018

In a surprisingly aggressive move, the U.K. Parliament have seized documents belonging to Facebook thought to contain information about the social media giants' potential misuse of privacy information.

The U.K. Parliament Saturday obtained documents belonging to social media giant Facebook, as they look to further their investigatation into the Cambridge-Analytica scandal.

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In early 2018, it was revealed Cambridge-Analytica harvested the data of millions of users Facebook profiles without their consent, for political purposes. 

Facebook's share price lost US$100b, while CEO Mark Zuckerberg was forced to testify in front of the United States Congress, later promising changes and reforms to Facebook's privacy policy.

However, there have been allegations that he failed to stick to his word, with U.S. company Six4Three suing Zuckerberg for - among a litany of violations, disregard for user privacy, and forcing rivals of Facebook out of business.  

"We allege that Facebook itself is the biggest violator of data misuse in the history of the software industry," Ted Kramer, owner of Six4Three, told CNN in the summer.

It was Kramer who was forced to hand over the documents on a visit to the U.K. after the British Parliament used a rare legal loophole to threaten Kramer with fines and possible imprisonment should he fail to hand over the documents.

Damian Collins, chairman of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, told The Observer: "We've failed to get answers from Facebook and we believe the documents contain information of very high public interest."

Mr Collins said Facebook "has not answered our questions about who knew what, when with regards to the Cambridge Analytica scandal".

"We have followed this court case in America and we believed these documents contained answers to some of the questions we have been seeking about the use of data, especially by external developers."

Speaking to the BBC, a spokesperson for Facebook said, “The materials obtained by the DCMS committee are subject to a protective order of the San Mateo Superior Court restricting their disclosure. We have asked the DCMS committee to refrain from reviewing them and to return them to counsel or to Facebook. We have no further comment.”

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