The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, has announced that an investigation will take place following the news that Facebook data has been collected on a large scale by the American company Cambridge Analytica.
Tajani writes in a post on Twitter: “Acts of misuse of Facebook data is an unacceptable violation of our citizens’ privacy rights.” He also says that the European Parliament will conduct a full investigation and ‘hold digital platforms to account’. European Commissioner for Justice and Consumers, Věra Jourová, announced on Sunday to travel to the US and ask for clarification from Facebook. The British privacy watchdog also announced an investigation over the weekend.
The announcements follow news from The Guardian and The New York Times that in 2014 Cambridge Analytica collected the data of approximately 50 million Facebook users without their consent. This was done via an app called thisisyourdigitallife, which also collected data from users’ friends. The data would have been used in Donald Trump’s election campaign.
The American company, which has since been suspended by Facebook, disputed this and said it had removed the data after it became apparent that the investigation violated Facebook’s terms.