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EU Parliament faces data probe a year after attacking Facebook

A 12 months in the past the European Parliament attacked Fb Inc within the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Now it’s embroiled in a privateness scandal of its personal after utilizing US software program firm NationBuilder to course of political knowledge regarding greater than 300,000 individuals.

The EU meeting, which includes members from throughout the 28-nation bloc, is being probed for utilizing a US-based political campaigning firm to course of private knowledge regarding its elections in Could, based on the EU’s in-house privateness watchdog.

“The EU parliamentary elections got here within the wake of a sequence of electoral controversies, each inside the EU member states and overseas, which centered on the risk posed by on-line manipulation,” Wojciech Wiewiorowski, who earlier this week was chosen as the subsequent European Knowledge Safety Supervisor, mentioned within the assertion on Thursday. It has led to “a superb stage of cooperation growing between the EDPS and the European Parliament”.

Election campaigns proceed to draw quite a lot of scrutiny. Earlier this month, the UK’s prime privateness watchdog despatched letters to the nation’s events, warning them about using individuals’s knowledge of their political campaigns forward of the final election in December. Shortly earlier than the European elections, the parliament adopted guidelines to forestall and penalise European political events that intentionally misuse private knowledge in election campaigns.

The EDPS mentioned that the parliament had been utilizing the web site, thistimeimvoting.eu, which ended up amassing knowledge from greater than 329,000 individuals within the election marketing campaign actions. The info was then processed for the parliament by NationBuilder, a US know-how firm that develops software program for political campaigns.

The European Parliament mentioned it determined to make use of NationBuilder in 2018 as a pilot challenge to run an info marketing campaign throughout the EU, and solely “used the essential functionalities”, such because the content material administration system, or a software to ship info in an emailed assertion.

It “by no means used the options that permits to cross date with exterior third events” and “no knowledge was ever shared with different methods and other people can solely join if they provide their specific consent”, the parliament mentioned in an emailed assertion.

NationBuilder didn’t instantly reply to an e mail in search of remark. The probe has led to 2 reprimands towards the EU meeting, which the establishment complied with.

Fb founder Mark Zuckerberg final 12 months left members of the parliament fuming over unanswered questions on the finish of a listening to that started with a mea culpa for the corporate’s privateness woes.

The revelations that the information of as many as 87 million Fb customers and their mates might have been misused by Cambridge Analytica has been known as a sport changer on this planet of knowledge safety as regulators search to lift consciousness about how one can safe info. – Bloomberg

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