Privacy Group calls for UK Response to Data Exploitation

Privacy International says the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data exploitation scandal is a wake-up call for UK policy-makers.

The privacy group, Privacy International, says the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data exploitation scandal is a wake-up call for UK policy-makers.

London-based Cambridge Analytica and social media giant, Facebook, have come under intense media, regulatory, and legal scrutiny after a whistleblower alleged improper practices regarding collecting and sharing user data.

Former Cambridge Analytica employee, Christopher Wylie, claimed the firm purchased large amounts of data from 270,000 people using a personality quiz on Facebook, as well as the data of 50 million mainly US Facebook users that was collected without their explicit consent through their friend networks.

Privacy International defends the right to privacy in the digital age, and has accused policy-makers of encouraging and promoting digital industries over the protection of people’s personal data.

The group said in a briefing published on its website: “The scandal has shown that the public is concerned by companies’ exploitation of their data,”

Privacy International described the current lack of transparency on how companies are using people’s data as “unacceptable” and has called for “stringent safeguards” to protect personal data.

The group said reform should not be limited to individual companies, warning that consumers are confronted with a “hidden ecosystem” of organisations that are harvesting and sharing data.

The organisation said: “From credit scoring and insurance quotations to targeted political communication, this data is being used for far-reaching purposes,”

Privacy International has called on UK policy-makers to take action in seven areas in response to the data exploitation issues highlighted by the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal.

The group said policy-makers must defend privacy as a fundamental right and stop playing data protection against innovation, noting that data protection and privacy are fundamental rights.

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