The European Parliament is ramping up the pressure on Facebook after backing a motion for a full, independent audit of the social media site to assess the security of its users’ personal data and the company’s data protection policies.
MEPs have adopted the resolution, brought by EU Civil Liberties Commission chair Claude Moraes, which calls on Facebook to allow EU bodies to carry out the audit, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year in which the data of 87 million Facebook users was improperly obtained and then misused.
Earlier this week, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office confirmed that it was fining Facebook the maximum £500,000 penalty over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
MEPs argued the social media giant not only breached the trust of EU citizens, “but indeed EU data protection law”.
Moraes said: “This is a global issue, which has already affected our referenda and our elections. This resolution sets out the measures that are needed, including an independent audit of Facebook, an update to our competition rules, and additional measures to protect our elections.
“Action must be taken now, not just to restore trust in online platforms, but to protect citizens’ privacy and restore trust and confidence in our democratic systems.”
In response, Facebook said: “We are grateful to the European Parliament for the number of opportunities to come and explain the changes we have made to our platform. We are working relentlessly to ensure the transparency, safety and security of people who use Facebook.
“Over the last months we have developed sophisticated systems that combine technology and people to prevent election interference on our services. This is part of a broader challenge for us at Facebook to be more proactive about protecting our community from harm and taking a broader view of our responsibility overall.”
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