Just a few days ahead of a seven-nation panel hearing on Facebook, the British Parliament has used its legal powers to seize internal company documents that contain significant revelations on data and privacy controls that led to Cambridge Analytica scandal.
According to a report in 'The Guardian', the internal documents 'include confidential emails between senior executives, and correspondence with (Mark) Zuckerberg'.
It is believed that the documents could explain how user data decisions were made in the years before the Cambridge Analytica breach, including what Zuckerberg and senior executives knew.
'Damian Collins, the chair of the culture, media and sport select committee, invoked a rare parliamentary mechanism to compel the founder of Six4Three to hand over the documents during a business trip to London,' The Guardian added.
When the software firm's founder failed to do so, he was told that he risked fines and even imprisonment if the company didn’t hand over the documents.
'We are in uncharted territory,' said Collins, who also chairs an inquiry into the fake news. 'This is an unprecedented move but it’s an unprecedented situation. We’ve failed to get answers from Facebook, and we believe the documents contain information of very high public interest.'
While MPs leading the fake news inquiry have repeatedly tried to summon Zuckerberg to explain the company’s actions, he has repeatedly refused. According to Collins, the non-show of Zuckerberg forced MPs to explore other options for gathering information about Facebook's operations.