tech

Facebook fights EU antitrust investigators’ demands for data

The social network challenged the European Commission’s requests for internal documents at the EU’s General Court earlier this month.

Facebook logo.
Facebook logo. (Pixabay)

Facebook Inc. is fighting demands by European Union investigators to turn over vast amounts of data the company says includes highly sensitive personal information not needed for antitrust probes.

The social network challenged the European Commission’s requests for internal documents at the EU’s General Court earlier this month, a move that could thwart EU efforts to build cases into the company’s marketplace ads and how it uses data.

Facebook expected to give regulators hundreds of thousands of documents but “the exceptionally broad nature” of the EU’s requests would force it “to turn over predominantly irrelevant documents that have nothing to do with the commission’s investigations,” the U.S. tech giant’s assistant general competition law counsel Tim Lamb said in an emailed statement.

Also read: Big Tech goes on shopping spree, brushing off antitrust scrutiny

The EU started examining Facebook’s sales platform and how it uses and shares data from apps last summer, one of several cases scrutinizing whether internet firms play fair. It adds to a probe into how Amazon.com Inc. collects data from retailers through its platform and investigations into Apple Inc.’s app store. Regulators can require companies to turn over documents mentioning certain keywords.

Details sought by the EU in May include “highly sensitive personal information such as employees’ medical information, personal financial documents, and private information about family members of employees,” Lamb said. “We think such requests should be reviewed by the EU courts.”

The commission in Brussels didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Written by Aoife White.

Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews, also keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.