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Political views ‘cannot be a commodity’ – Stanley

17 April, 2018 - by Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Communications Brian Stanley TD has said that, with personal data and political views as a traded commodity, we cannot trust big corporations that they will always do the right thing. The Laois TD was speaking today at the Oireachtas Committee where Facebook representatives explained recent data breaches.

Teachta Stanley said:

“At the Committee meeting today, Facebook representatives have said there was a ‘violation of trust’ and ‘that they didn’t do enough’. This now must signal the need for greater protections for people’s data which has become a commodity and we need to ensure it is not abused.

“The unauthorised use of potentially 87 million Facebook users’ data for the purposes of election campaigning signals a dangerous turn. The ease of access to so much personal information means that important checks and balances were not in place by Facebook. The present structure is broken. Various regulatory measures for on-line protections will be needed in the future to protect individuals such as the Digital Safety Commissioner put forward by Sinn Féin.

“In Ireland, only 15 people downloaded the App which accessed the personal data in question but potentially 44,687 people could have had their data used. This demonstrates that when things go wrong, they can go very wrong and demonstrates the need for a change in how this area is regulated.”

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