In light of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, this past Thursday (25 October 2018) MEPs called for a full audit on Facebook in addition to new measures against interference in elections.
The (non-binding) resolution (European Parliament resolution of 25 October 2018 on the use of Facebook users’ data by Cambridge Analytica and the impact on data protection (2018/2855(RSP)) adopted by MEPs will permit “EU bodies to carry out a full audit to assess data protection and security of users’ personal data, following the scandal in which the data of 87 million Facebook users was improperly obtained, and misused.”
MEPs stressed that Facebook should make amendments to its platform in order to comply with EU data protection rules in addition to highlighting the dangers of interference in democratic elections made possible thanks to new technologies, proposing several measures to prevent “meddling” including:
- “applying conventional ‘off-line’ electoral safeguards online: rules on spending transparency and limits, respect for silence periods and equal treatment of candidates;
- making it easy to recognise online political paid advertisements and the organisation behind them;
- banning profiling for electoral purposes, including use of online behaviour that may reveal political preferences;
- that social media platforms should label content shared by bots, speed up the process of removing fake accounts and work with independent fact-checkers and academia to tackle disinformation;
- investigations should be carried out by member states with the support of Eurojust, into alleged misuse of the online political space by foreign forces.”
The resolution will be forwarded by the President of the committee to the Council, the Commission, EU Member States, the government of the USA, Council of Europe, and Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook.
For more information see European Parliament resolution of 25 October 2018 on the use of Facebook users’ data by Cambridge Analytica and the impact on data protection (2018/2855(RSP)) here and the LIBE committee press release here.