Facebook VP Richard Allan faces grilling, but Mark Zuckerberg refused to attend

BRITAIN: Parliament Seizes Internal Facebook Docs

Collins disclosed the potential breach at an worldwide grand committee hearing on Tuesday in which Facebook was grilled on its series of scandals.

FACEBOOK boss Mark Zuckerberg was "empty chaired" and condemned for failing to show up to an inquiry in London. The 34-year-old CEO rejected numerous requests from the UK Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee to answer questions on Facebook's handling of user data and privacy.

Ian Lucas, a British politician, questioned Allan on when Zuckerberg became aware of the improper use of data for targeted political ads by Cambridge Analytica and whether the company has taken action against other third-party developers for similar data breaches. Lawmakers criticised Zuckerberg for not being present at the hearing.

In front of the committee, Mr. Allan agreed with Mr. Erskine-Smith when he said it appeared Facebook has been negligent in not acting sooner to remove disinformation from its pages.

Facebook knew about a possible cyber attack on the platform linked to Russian Federation years before they were made public, according to a leading MP in charge of holding the social network to account over issues of disinformation on the platform.

Lawmakers from Canada, Ireland, Brazil, Argentina, Singapore, Belgium, France and Latvia joined their British counterparts at the parliamentary select committee hearing - the first such cross-border event in London since 1933.

They are part of a court case in California between Facebook and a small app developer.

A view of the International Grand Committee with representation from nine countries' parliaments and Mark Zuckerberg's non-attendance at the U.K. Parliament in London on November 27, 2018.

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In response to the question of whether Facebook would entertain discussion of antitrust regulation, Allan said, "It depends on the problem we're trying to solve".

Parliament seized the documents over the weekend from the founder of app development company Six4Three while he was visiting London.

A British lawmaker alleged on Tuesday that seized documents from Facebook show that a company engineer identified a major data collection effort based in Russian Federation that had been previously undisclosed. An engineer allegedly notified the company about Russian IP addresses accessing "three billion data points a day" from the platform, according to Damian Collins, who chairs the United Kingdom fake news inquiry.

"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".

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

A spokesperson for Facebook said that "the engineers who had flagged these initial concerns subsequently looked into this further and found no evidence of specific Russian activity".

Charlie Angus, a lawmaker from Canada, said that humanity had "never seen anything quite like Facebook" before, Reuters news agency reported.

"Unless you're going to turn off the internet, I'm not confident that people would be better off in a world where Facebook is not able-however imperfectly-to offer services where we spent 15 learning how to do", he said.

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