Mark Zuckerberg Gives International Parliamentary Panel Hearing a Miss

Mark Zuckerberg Gives International Parliamentary Panel Hearing a Miss

Parliament has used its legal powers to seize internal Facebook documents in an extraordinary attempt to hold the United States social media giant to account after chief executive Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly refused to answer MPs' questions.

"I put it to you that you have lost the trust of the worldwide community to self-police and that we have to start looking at the methods for holding you and your company accountable", Angus told Richard Allan, the vice president of policy solutions at Facebook. It was organized by Damian Collins, the British lawmaker who chairs a parliamentary committee investigating disinformation and the use of people's data.

Allan appeared after the committee's chairman, Damian Collins, took the unusual move of seizing a trove of confidential internal Facebook documents from a visiting USA tech executive.

Allan said there have been a "number of actions taken" against developers but added, "I don't have in front of me today all of the answers to all of the questions".

He said that the email, written in 2014, warned that entities with Russian IP addresses were collecting billions of Facebook data points a day through Pinterest.

Court documents from that California trial were sealed and kept confidential - until Kramer visited Britain over the weekend.

The revelation came as the British Parliament held hearings featuring lawmakers from nine countries into how the social media behemoth was being used to manipulate major election results.

Collins said the committee is still going through the papers and deciding which documents are in the public interest, but confirmed they would be published "within the next week or so".

Richard Allan, the vice president of policy solutions at Facebook who appeared in Mr Zuckerberg's stead, admitted Facebook had made mistakes but said it had accepted the need to comply with data rules.

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Facebook said it had investigated the matter and found that it did not constitute genuine interference from Russian Federation.

In response, Allan said at the hearing that the documents generally are "potentially misleading".

Mr. Allan said he volunteered to attend because Mr. Zuckerberg had already appeared before other committees this year, including in Washington and, briefly, Brussels. The intended was to grill Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg over the company's scandals involving fake news.

"If you say to me was the election won because of this mass of (campaign spending) activity here, or because of this small amount of activity over here, I think it's reasonable to say let's start by looking - if we think there is a problem - at campaign spending generally".

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, another member of the Canadian Parliament, pressed Allan over whether a user signing up for Facebook could reasonably be seen as "meaningful consent" - the standard under Canadian privacy law - for the company allowing others to access that data.

The Facebook founder and CEO was asked to attend by the committee. Canada is continuing to investigate data breaches of personal information of more than 600,000 Canadian users.

The firm had improperly accessed data on millions of Facebook users, prompting Britain's regulators to fine Facebook earlier this year for the security lapse, though the company has said it intends to appeal.

On multiple occasions during the two-and-a-half hour hearing, Allan was unable to provide answers to questions posed by lawmakers.

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