Facebook has had a rough year in the public eye, coming in for criticism from lawmakers and the public alike for its handling of user privacy and data. Now the company may see even more of its dirty laundry aired, as UK politicians have obtained internal company documents—which could include correspondence between Facebook executives—in order to shed light on these privacy problems.
The documents originated in a California lawsuit brought against Facebook by an app company. The suit alleges that Facebook disregarded user privacy and schemed to put rivals out of business. But while these documents have been sealed here in the States, UK politician Damian Collins was able to wrangle them from the app company’s CEO. Now, he could release them to the public as soon as this week.
“We are in uncharted territory,” Collins, chair of the Parliament’s culture, media and sport committee, told The Guardian. “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.”
According to Collins, his goal is to “shed light” on whether or not Facebook’s public statements on data and privacy issues are consistent with the way it discusses these problems behind closed doors. Whether or not he accomplishes that remains to be seen, but regardless, it’s a good thing for Facebook to get its cage rattled once in a while.