MEPs will discuss on Thursday a draft resolution on the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica case winding up hearings with Facebook representatives, journalists and experts.
The draft resolution is a follow up to the meeting between leading MEPs and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the three hearings organized to obtain a clear and complete picture on the use of Facebook users’ data by Cambridge Analytica.
Rapporteur and Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) said: “In the wake of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data breach, it’s clear that more needs to be done to restore trust and confidence in our democratic systems.
“Over the past weeks, I have worked closely with political group leaders and respective Members to draft this text, which calls on the actors concerned to assume their responsibility and make sure similar events can no longer occur.”
The draft resolution by Mr. Moraes acknowledges that improvements have been made since the scandal but calls for further action:
- competition rules to be updated to reflect the digital reality;
- an audit into the activities of the advertising industry on social media; and
- for data protection authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into Facebook to ensure that data protection rights are upheld.
“In addition, we have to look at how political parties and campaigns are using social platforms for campaign purposes. A Code of Conduct with the participation of all actors concerned needs to be developed. If not, legislation is needed to make such ethical rules compulsory”, Mr. Moraes continued.
Finally, Mr. Moraes highlighted the importance of the EU data protection rules: “Further to this, companies need to apply and comply fully with GDPR and, as legislators, we need to move forward with the e-privacy directive. These measures are needed to prevent future abuses and to support business models that are by design and by default compliant with fundamental rights.”
The Civil Liberties Committee will vote on the draft resolution and the proposed amendments on 10 October. The Full House will vote on the text in the second October plenary session (22-25 October).
On 22 May 2018, leading MEPs met with Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and Founder of Facebook, to hear his explanation for the use of Facebook users’ data by Cambridge Analytica. Following to the meeting, the Civil Liberties Committee in association with the committees on Industry, Constitutional Affairs and Legal Affairs, organized three hearings (4 June, 25 June, 2 July) to obtain more information on the case.
At the hearings, MEPs discussed the impact of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica case on data protection, electoral processes, fake news and the market position of social media. Speakers included Facebook representatives, the UK Electoral Commission and Information Commissioner, independent journalists, privacy activists as well as the Commissioners concerned.