Fake news:United Kingdom seizes confidential Facebook documents

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly declined requests to testify before Parliament about the company's handling of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

What happened? Damian Collins, the chair of the select committeee on culture, media, and sport, invoked Parliament's summoning rights to force Ted Kramer, founder of the U.S. software firm Six4Three, to release the documents.

Kramer was given a final warning and a two-hour deadline to comply with the order sent along with a serjeant at arms.

"This is an unprecedented move but it's an unprecedented situation", Damian Collins, the chairman of the committee investigating so-called fake news, told the newspaper.

"It makes it look like he's got something to hide and he's anxious that we may have information and questions we could put to him that would put him in a hard position", Collins said.

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".

"The recent New York Times investigation raises further questions about how recent data breaches were allegedly dealt with within Facebook, and when the senior leadership team became aware of the breaches and the spread of Russian disinformation", the committee said in a written statement ahead of the hearing. They want to scrutinize Facebook over its handling of data privacy, most notably involving consultancy Cambridge Analytica's improper use of information from more than 87 million Facebook accounts to manipulate elections. The committee wanted the files, which have been sealed by a California judge, in the hope they would shed light on Facebook's privacy policies.

Prepare for political fireworks on Tuesday as politicians from around the world gather for an "unprecedented" hearing into disinformation, fake news and privacy on Facebook's platform, hosted by the United Kingdom parliament.

Mr Allan is actually Lord Allan, a former Liberal Democrat MP given a peerage by Nick Clegg, who in a unusual turn of events has now become Facebook's global public-relations and policy chief. "In ignoring the inquiries of seven national parliaments, Mark Zuckerberg brought this escalation upon himself, as there was no other way to get this critical information", wrote Christopher Wylie, a whistleblower who was previously the director of research at Cambridge Analytica.

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