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Facebook needs a radical change of direction on data

Facebook/Cambridge Analytica

The scandal surrounding the transfer of data by Facebook to Cambridge Analytica is under discussion in the European Parliament today.

On the initiative of the Greens/EFA group, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has been invited to a hearing of the European Parliament. The new General Data Protection Regulation provides for penalties of up to 4% of annual turnover for violations of the law such as the disclosure of personal data to third parties without prior consent. The new EU law will apply EU-wide from 25 May.

Jan Philipp Albrecht, spokesperson for justice and home affairs of the Greens/EFA group and negotiator for the General Data Protection Regulation, comments:

"Europeans are not second-class Facebook users. If Facebook is to retain any credibility, Mark Zuckerberg has to answer European lawmakers' questions.

"Facebook needs a radical change of direction in how it manages users’ personal data. Vague announcements, apologies and ad campaigns are not enough.  Thanks to the new General Data Protection Regulation, companies such as Facebook will soon face severe penalties for the sort of violations seen in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Huge internet companies will then have no choice but to realise that they must comply with the rules of the EU market and respect data protection.

"For fair digital competition, we also need new laws to allow people to communicate with users on other services, for example between WhatsApp and Threema. Users also need to be able to know who is behind the ads they see on Facebook."

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