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Facebook docs seized by DCMS in Cambridge Analytica investigation

Facebook docs seized by DCMS in Cambridge Analytica investigation

The Guardian reports that the U.K. Parliament has used their legal powers to obtain a number of internal Facebook documents as it attempts to hold the social media giant accountable for the Cambridge Analytica data scandal which saw the personal data of 87 million Facebook users allegedly left vulnerable.

The papers contain claims that that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder, had developed a "malicious and fraudulent" scheme to exploit users' data.

The UK parliamentary committee investigating "fake news" compelled the founder of a software company to hand over documents linked to a legal dispute the company has with Facebook in the United States. A sergeant at arms was sent to the individual's hotel and gave him a two-hour deadline to hand over the documents. When he refused to handover the documents, he was "escorted to parliament" and informed that he was risking fines for the same.

"We are in uncharted territory", Collins, told the Observer. This is an unprecedented move but it's an unprecedented situation.

Collins, who has not yet made the documents public, asked Allan about one item he said was of considerable public interest that suggests Facebook was alerted to possible Russian hacking years before it became a major issue.

The group, called an "International Grand Committee", tried to bring in Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg to answer questions, but he declined twice.

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

Taking on the American courts, using arcane procedures that have not been employed in living memory and getting involved in a case where a plaintiff seems to be arguing that Facebook was too strict about the use of data certainly seems risky.

Facebook told the Observer: "The materials gotten by the DCMS board of trustees are liable to a defensive request of the San Mateo Superior Court limiting their revelation".

But Mr Collins said he had written back to Facebook stressing the House of Commons had powers to seize documents within United Kingdom jurisdiction. "We have no further comment". "Under UK law & parliamentary privilege we can publish papers if we choose to as part of our inquiry", he said.

The company was angry about changes in Facebook's rules, which restricted its access to user data, and the documents were provided to it as part of the disclosure process.

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