It says that social media sites should not be able to behave like ‘digital gangsters’, considering themselves beyond the law.
The strong words come after Parliament used its legal powers to seize internal Facebook documents after chief executive Mark Zuckerberg refused to answer its questions last year.
Facebook broke the law when it ‘starved’ other companies of data to destroy their business model, such as Six4Three, a Culture Committee report published today has found
The report states that evidence obtained from these documents indicated that Facebook was willing to override its users’ privacy settings to transfer data to other developers to make money.
It also finds that the company worked to ‘starve’ other companies, such as tech firm Six4Three, of that data to destroy their businesses.
‘From the documents we received from Six4Three, it is evident that Facebook intentionally and knowingly violated both data privacy and anti-competition laws,’ the report states.
The committee says the Information Commissioner should investigate the company over the revelations.
‘The Information Commissioner told the committee that Facebook needs to significantly change its business model and its practices to maintain trust,’ it reports.
Documents seized from Mark Zuckerberg also revealed that the company was willing to override users’ privacy settings in order to sell their data
The report also accuses powerful social media sites of behaving as if they were ‘monopolies’ and raises concerns about their use of data.
‘Companies like Facebook should not be allowed to behave like “digital gangsters” in the online world, considering themselves to be ahead of and beyond the law,’ it states. It adds: ‘The Government should consider the impact of such monopolies on the political world and on democracy.’
The committee also called for the Competitions and Market Authority to investigate social media websites, particularly Facebook.
Facebook denied that it had broken data privacy and anti-competition laws.