Information watchdog to review data practices of UK political parties
Information Commissioner issues social media giant Facebook with a £500,000 maximum penalty
Image credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Parliament's information watchdog has vowed to review the data practices of UK political parties after it imposed a record fine on Facebook over a scandal-hit campaign firm.
The Information Commissioner issued the social media giant with a £500,000 maximum penalty for failing to ensure political consultancy Cambridge Analytica had deleted users’ data.
It also ordered Aggregate IQ (AIQ) - another political ad firm that worked with the Vote Leave campaign on the EU referendum - to stop processing the data of UK citizens.
The ICO launched a probe into the use of data by political parties in the wake of allegations Cambridge Analytica illicitly harvested Facebook information for unauthorised use.
It found Facebook breached its own rules by failing to ensure the UK company had deleted the data, and it vowed to bring criminal action against SCL elections - the parent firm of Cambridge Analytica.
But the ICO also trained its sights on other political parties - raising concerns about the purchase of information from “data brokers” who may not have obtained the necessary consent.
The watchdog has written to the 11 main political parties in the UK demanding access to audit their data protection practices.
Elsewhere, the ICO said it was looking into whether AIQ had accessed voter data handed over by Vote Leave from outside the UK and whether that would amount to a data protection breach.
Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: “We are at a crossroads. Trust and confidence in the integrity of our democratic processes risk being disrupted because the average voter has little idea of what is going on behind the scenes.”
She added: “New technologies that use data analytics to micro-target people give campaign groups the ability to connect with individual voters.
“But this cannot be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law.”
Scottish Futures Trust publishes new business and corporate plans with aim to...
Richard Bacon said a watchdog could help to rein in over-spending on projects like the notorious NHS national IT programme.
Open Standards Board concludes process for selecting standards to be applied to the use of “cyberthreat intelligence systems”
HM Revenue and Customs is offering an annual salary of £115,000 apiece for four new technology leaders
Vodafone explores some of the ways IoT is significantly improving public sector service delivery
With the annual worldwide cost of cybercrime set to double from $3tn in 2015 to $6tn by 2021, BT offers advice on how chief information security officers can better...
BT's Amy Lemberger argues that having the right security in place to protect your organisation is no longer just an option. It is a necessity.