The knowledge commissioner has criticised the “antiquated course of” that led to Facebook getting maintain of Cambridge Analytica’s servers earlier than the UK regulator itself, and renewed requires a world strategy to knowledge privateness to sort out the rising menace of knowledge havens.
Elizabeth Denham, the data commissioner, spoke to Damian Collins MP, the previous chair of the digital, tradition, media and sport committee, who led the parliamentary enquiry into disinformation, on his podcast Infotagion. She described discovering that Fb was contained in the workplaces of defunct electioneering consultancy Cambridge Analytica whereas in the course of an interview with Channel 4’s Jon Snow.
“We had been attempting to get a warrant for a number of days, utilizing an antiquated course of within the former legislation,” Denham stated. “That’s a narrative that I’m going to inform my grandchildren, as a result of once we lastly obtained the warrant, on the finish of three days and two completely different judges, I felt like I used to be in Hogwarts, taking place the darkish halls of the courthouse, in search of a seal for the warrant.
“We served the warrant on Cambridge Analytica at 11 o’clock at night time,” she added. “After we heard that Fb was getting into by itself to audit Cambridge Analytica, we needed to act in a short time to get their tanks off our garden. It was inappropriate for Fb, as a result of they had been concerned within the misuse of knowledge, for them to be auditing earlier than a public authority obtained in there.”
The investigation resulted in a £500,000 effective for Fb, the very best the Data Commissioner’s Workplace was legally in a position to levy. A yr later, following an appeal, Fb agreed to pay the effective, however “made no admission of legal responsibility”.
In the midst of that investigation, Denham says, the ICO found “that Cambridge Analytica was trying to transfer its providers to a jurisdiction the place it may truly be exterior of any sort of scrutiny of a regulator… The pondering was to maneuver to the Caribbean.”
“And I believe that that’s another excuse why parliamentarians around the globe want to take a look at this drawback internationally. Liberal democracies need to have sturdy electoral legal guidelines, they need to have sturdy knowledge safety legal guidelines, and robust cybersecurity.”
Denham additionally referred to as on the US president-elect, Joe Biden, to introduce a federal privateness legislation in 2021. “I don’t suppose it’s out of the query that we are going to see a federal privateness legislation within the US within the coming years,” she stated, “and that’s definitely the hope that many in my subject have. And it appears the time has come for federal legislation within the US.”