UK information commissioner welcomes Facebook ending deals with data brokers
The UK’s Information Commissioner welcomed Facebook’s decision to end its partnerships with several large data brokers who help advertisers target people on the social network.
Elizabeth Denham said in a statement: “”I welcome Facebook’s announcement that it will be shutting down its partner category service, using third party data to inform targeted advertising.
“I have been examining this service in the context of my wider investigation into the use of personal data for political purposes and had raised it with Facebook as a significant area of concern. The use of third party sources of data will be covered in more detail in the report my office will publish soon.”
Facebook has for years given advertisers the option of targeting their ads based on data collected by companies such as Acxiom and Experian.
The tool has been widely used among certain categories of advertisers – such as car makers, luxury goods producers and consumer packaged goods companies – who do not sell directly to consumers and have relatively little information about who their customers are, according to Facebook.
The Information Commissioner’s statement came as a House of Commons committee published written evidence provided by a whistleblower who says information about 50 million Facebook users ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
Christopher Wylie, who worked for Cambridge Analytica, alleges that the data was used to help to build profiles on American voters and build support for Donald Trump in the US presidential election.
He also claims that Canadian firm AggregateIQ (AIQ) was involved in the development of the software used to target voters.
Wylie appeared before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Tuesday. The committee said Wylie provided it with documents including a services agreement between AIQ and SCL Elections, Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, dated September 2014.
AIQ has previously said that it did not enter into a contract with Cambridge Analytica and had never been part of the firm. Cambridge Analytica has said it did not share the Facebook profile data with AggregateIQ, did not use it in the campaign to elect Donald Trump, and has deleted the data.
Why 2022 will be a significant year for digital learning
In 2022 the impact of technology in the classroom shows no sign of abating. The ‘pandemic years’ have proved critical in providing impetus for weaving and integrating powerful digital tools…
On the cyber horizon: predictions for 2022
As 2021 draws to a close, we see a world still challenged by Covid-19, necessitating new business models, new channels and a shift (perhaps for the long term) to remote…
Jude McCorry: “Focus on cyber strategy alone is not enough”
The number of cyber attacks has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic, with both international and domestic cyber criminals taking advantage of our increased reliance on…
Not a drop wasted: digital cask filling can save the whisky industry millions
Scotland’s food and drink sector is central to the country’s economy. Bringing in around £14 billion every year, it employs more than 115,000 people and accounts for one in five manufacturing…
The value of engineering in the curriculum
If you were to look back at the greatest discoveries in science and technology over the past 30 years, you would soon notice that engineering is a key catalyst for…
Glasgow Council leads the way in digital learning
In 2017, we at Glasgow City Council took the opportunity to overhaul our digital approach to education and redefine learning, keeping in mind the core aim of reducing the impact…
Why data is the new oil
In 2006, British mathematician Clive Humby coined the phrase, “Data is the new oil”. This analogy has been proven correct as data now powers entire industries and holds tremendous value…
Global Entrepreneurship Week offers chance to reset aspirations amid new innovation landscape
With the advent of Global Entrepreneurship Week, it is an opportunity for us to celebrate the innovators, the grassroots risk takers who drive the economy, and those who invest in…