I’m on a little staycation this week. However, as I was reading the news (don’t worry, most of it was sports and/or related to Star Wars), I got wind of the U.K. commissioner’s proposal to fine Facebook the maximum allowed under the law because of the role the company played in the Cambridge Analytica fiasco. While the applicable law at issue is not the GDPR (and hence not a fine of 4 percent of global revenue), it is still hefty in terms of what we’ve seen in Canada — the fine is equivalent to about $800,000.00.
The amount of the fine caught my attention but so did other aspects of the report. Indeed, and yet again, the issue of political parties using personal information and data analytics rose to the forefront.
The timing could, however, be better. With so many people on summer work schedules or, like me, on vacation, this important news may not have the legs it should. I was happy to see at least one Canadian outlet realize this was newsworthy and write about how the U.K. story shines a glaring light on the inadequate privacy protections we have in Canada against the practices of political parties. Read below for more.
And, while I found that to be interesting and in need of calling out, there’s also another good academic op-ed in The Globe and Mail that challenges us to think of personal information as something other than a natural resource. After reading it, I have to agree. There’s more to privacy than the trade-offs we choose to make every day. It is a human right. Even in the hazy, lazy days of summer, that’s something worth remembering.
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