Tax returns are not the only things being audited today; in the light of breaches, Facebook will be fully audited by European Union bodies to assess its security and data protection policies. After holding a series of hearings after the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal, the EU’s parliament civil liberties committee has urged institutions in the EU to look at a possible monopoly of the giant social media platforms.
The commission has not yet dealt with the social media axis of big tech because its focus is directed towards mobile chips (Qualcomm), mobile and ecommerce platforms that is mostly Google but also includes Amazon’s use of merchant data and Apple’s tax structure in Ireland. Regional lawmakers are looking towards their oversight frameworks to be able to respond to the growing ethic concerns on the use and abuse of big data.
Local antitrust regulators in the EU that includes Germany and France are investigating Google’s and Facebook’s adtech duopoly on different fronts in recent years. Libe committee’s most recent political call is to spin up and scale up the antitrust efforts and the attention on social media. The committee wants more accountability and transparency on algorithmic data whether public or private.
The Libe committee has previously suggested that the Cambridge Analytica scandal could be a source of valuable information that could shape an update to the ePrivacy rules of Europe. The data breach and security scandal affirms the argument that stronger privacy rules are required.
The Libe committee’s call for an audit of social media ‘advertising industry is echoed by the UK’s protection watchdog ICO on the use of online advertisements for political purposes. The Cambridge Analytica scandal has triggered political scrutiny; however, Facebook has revealed that another major data breach has affected at least 50 million users. It is recommended that Facebook needs to undertake substantial modifications to its platform in compliance with EU data protection laws.
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