UK watchdog eyeing PM Boris Johnson’s Facebook ads data grab

The online campaigning activities of the UK’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, have already caught the eye of the country’s data protection watchdog. Responding to concerns about the scope of data processing set out in the Conservative Party’s Privacy Policy being flagged to it by a Twitter user, the Information Commissioner’s Office replied that: “This […]

Behavioural advertising is out of control, warns UK watchdog

The online behavioural advertising industry is illegally profiling internet users. That’s the damning assessment of the U.K.’s data protection regulator in an update report published today, in which it sets out major concerns about the programmatic advertising process known as real-time bidding (RTB), which makes up a large chunk of online advertising. In what sounds […]

Facebook refuses to disclose ‘chuck Chequers’ Brexit advertiser to UK parliament

Facebook has refused to provide the British parliament with the names of individuals behind a shadowy network backing an extreme ‘no deal’ Brexit outcome over a government-negotiated compromise. Since the June 2016 EU referendum vote, politics in the UK has been consumed by the question of how to implement a close vote to leave. And […]

Cambridge Analytica’s parent pleads guilty to breaking UK data law

Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, SCL Elections, has been fined £15,000 in a UK court after pleading guilty to failing to comply with an enforcement notice issued by the national data protection watchdog, the Guardian reports. While the fine itself is a small and rather symbolic one, given the disgraced political analytics firm went into administration last […]

UK parliament seizes cache of internal Facebook documents to further privacy probe

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg may yet regret underestimating a UK parliamentary committee that’s been investigating the democracy-denting impact of online disinformation for the best part of this year — and whose repeat requests for facetime he’s just as repeatedly snubbed. In the latest high gear change, reported in yesterday’s Observer, the committee has used parliamentary powers […]

Facebook policy VP Richard Allan to face the international ‘fake news’ grilling that Zuckerberg won’t

An unprecedented international grand committee comprising 22 representatives from seven parliaments will meet in London next week to put questions to Facebook about the online fake news crisis and the social network’s own string of data misuse scandals. But Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg won’t be providing any answers. The company has repeatedly refused requests for […]

Facebook appeals UK data watchdog’s £500K Cambridge Analytica fine

Facebook has said it will appeal a £500,000 penalty issued by the U.K.’s data watchdog this summer following a lengthy investigation into the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal. Facebook told the regulator an estimated one million U.K. users were among the 87 million of its users whose private data was harvested by Dr. Aleksandr Kogan and his company […]

Facebook is facing an EU data probe over fake ads

The UK’s privacy watchdog has asked Facebook’s lead EU regulator to look into ongoing data protection concerns about its ad platform — including how its platform is being used to target and spread fake adverts to try to manipulate voters. Facebook’s international HQ is in Ireland so the regulator in play here is the Irish […]

Facebook must change and policymakers must act on data, warns UK watchdog

The UK’s data watchdog has warned that Facebook must overhaul its privacy-hostile business model or risk burning user trust for good. Comments she made today have also raised questions over the legality of so-called lookalike audiences to target political ads at users of its platform. Information commissioner Elizabeth Denham was giving evidence to the Digital, […]

Big tech must not reframe digital ethics in its image

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s visage loomed large over the European parliament this week, both literally and figuratively, as global privacy regulators gathered in Brussels to interrogate the human impacts of technologies that derive their power and persuasiveness from our data. The eponymous social network has been at the center of a privacy storm this year. And […]