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 Full text 
Wednesday, 18 April 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Cambridge Analytica and Facebook: Data protection and citizen's privacy as a line of defence against election manipulation (debate)

  Daniel Dalton (ECR). – Mr President, trust is a vital commodity in the digital era, as Facebook is finding out now. If you fail in your service or in your duty of care or your protection of data, you have nowhere to hide – consumers will desert you.

Facebook now needs to explain what it has done and how it is going to protect users’ data – not just because we demand it, but because their users demand it. Users may agree to share their own data on the site, but they did not agree to their friends sharing their details on their behalf. Facebook needs to vet its third—party apps much more carefully, and we need to get to the bottom of what Cambridge Analytica were doing and what effect they actually had on election results.

But the key for us is to learn from this: the digital revolution has empowered billions around the world, but it is embryonic and barriers are being tested by all in this uncertain data—driven new world. The GDPR which comes into force next month is also testing barriers. That alone brings about much more protection of personal data. Facebook itself has said it will apply it globally.

So let’s find out what happened here first and see how well the GDPR worked in practice – and then, when we have a full picture, assess if more legislation is needed.

Last updated: 5 September 2018Legal notice - Privacy policy