Britain’s parliament has seized confidential Facebook documents from the developer of a now-defunct bikini photo searching app as it seeks answers from the social media company about its data protection policies.
Lawmakers sought the files ahead of an international hearing they’re hosting on Tuesday to look into disinformation and “fake news.”
The parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has “received the documents it ordered from Six4Three relating to Facebook,” Committee Chairman Damian Collins tweeted on Sunday. “Under UK law & parliamentary privilege we can publish papers if we choose to as part of our inquiry,” he said.
The app maker, Six4Three, had acquired the files as part of a U.S. lawsuit against the social media giant. It’s suing Facebook over a change to the social network’s privacy policies in 2015 that led to the company having to shut down its app, Pikinis, which let users find photos of their friends in bikinis and bathing suits by searching their friends list.
News reports said the U.K. committee used its powers to compel an executive from Six4Three, who was on a business trip to London, to turn over the files. The files had been sealed this year by a judge in the U.S. case.
Lawmakers from seven countries are preparing to grill a Facebook executive in charge of public policy, Richard Allan, at the committee’s hearing in London. They had asked for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear in person or by video, but he has refused.