In a new twist in the ongoing saga of Facebook vs privacy, the parliament of the United Kingdom seized the social media giant’s documents to try to initiate action against the company’s handling of user data. This move comes in the wake CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s repeated refusals to answer questions regarding his company’s data policies and the extent of his knowledge about the ensuing implications. However, the documents may not be made public, as a court in California had ordered them sealed.
It is believed that the cache seized by authorities in the UK contains an exchange of messages and emails between Mark Zuckerberg and various senior executives of the company. The origin of this set of correspondence comes from a lawsuit against Facebook. The alleged claim is that Zuckerberg and all the members of top management at the social media behemoth had complete disregard for user privacy and may have been aware that something like influencing elections was a real possibility. The seizure itself was done in a somewhat unusual way.
The documents were in possession of the founder of a company called Six4Three, which itself is involved in a lawsuit against Facebook. The parliament ordered them to be seized from the founder, while on a visit to London. The person refused to comply with the parliament’s demands for the files, which is when an officer of the parliament was sent to the founder’s hotel to seize the cache.
Facebook has had approximately $100 billion knocked off from its valuation in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and it remains to be seen as to how this development will affect it.