Leaked documents reveal Facebook’s global lobbying practices

A report by Observer reveals that Facebook is targeting politicians around the world, including the former UK chancellor, George Osborne and promising investments and incentives in exchange of lobbying on Facebook’s behalf against data privacy legislation.

These revelations were made by The Guardian when they got hold of a new leak of internal Facebook documents that revealed a secret global lobbying operation targeting hundreds of influential officials around the world including the UK, US, Canada, India, Vietnam, Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia and all 28 states of the EU.

The documents appear to originate from the court case against Facebook by Six4Three – the app developing company in California and indicate that the COO of the company Sheryl Sandberg finds the European data protection legislation a ‘critical’ threat to the social media platform.
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Another memo was written after the Davos economic summit in 2013 also shows Sandberg describing the EU data protection law an ‘uphill battle’ for the company. John Naughton, a Cambridge academic and Observer writer observed the papers and admitted that the leak was ‘explosive’ in the way it revealed the ‘vassalage’ of the Irish state to the big tech companies.

Upon contact, a spokesperson for Facebook denied the allegations by saying that the ‘leaked’ documents are under seal in a California court and thus the company was unable to respond. However, the spokesperson did claim that the ‘leaked’ story is missing some important context that will only be revealed through court orders.

Facebook's lobbying practices on data privacy are called into question
Photo: Wellesenterprises via Getty Images

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