Brits use extraordinary seldom-used power seize to Facebook docs

Eric Garland tweet about Britain seizing Facebook documents

The docs are explosive, alleging Facebook deliberately created loopholes in their software to be exploited by advertisers, enabling them to collect data they supposedly didn’t have access to.

The documents were seized from the CEO of a US software company while he was in London. He was told, turn them over or face prison. The UK is very definitely playing hardball now.

Several countries want Facebook to testify. Zuckerberg is sending someone else to do it and seems intent on provoking fights with multiple governments and intelligence agencies that he and Facebook cannot possibly win.

The cache of documents is alleged to contain significant revelations about Facebook decisions on data and privacy controls that led to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. It is claimed they include confidential emails between senior executives, and correspondence with Zuckerberg.

Damian Collins, the chair of the culture, media and sport select committee, invoked a rare parliamentary mechanism to compel the founder of a US software company, Six4Three, to hand over the documents during a business trip to London.

The documents seized were obtained during a legal discovery process by Six4Three. It took action against the social media giant after investing $250,000 in an app. Six4Three alleges the cache shows Facebook was not only aware of the implications of its privacy policy, but actively exploited them, intentionally creating and effectively flagging up the loophole that Cambridge Analytica used to collect data. That raised the interest of Collins and his committee.