UK politicians’ war with Facebook reaches critical point
UK parliament labels Facebook a digital gangster in a new report
British lawmakers now think that Facebook and other platforms like it are “digital gangsters.” The scathing report came today and called for tougher rules to keep tech firms from acting like "digital gangsters" and intentionally violating data privacy and competition laws.
Previously, there was an 18-month investigation by UK Parliament's influential media committee. The body also recommended that social media sites should have to follow a mandatory code of ethics supervised by an independent regulator. This move is in order to regulate content emanating from these platforms.
The report mentioned that Facebook structure seems to be designed to provide concealment of the owners from being accountable.
"It is evident that Facebook intentionally and knowingly violated both data privacy and anti-competition laws," the report said.
In their words, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also shown a sign of contempt for the U.K. Parliament by declining numerous invitations to appear before the committee.
The committee in the report said that in the online world, companies like Facebook should not be allowed to consider themselves to be ahead of and beyond the law.
UK parliament is working closely with government on this issue and although the reports are intended to influence government policy, they are not binding.
For now, UK government said it welcomed the report's contribution towards its endeavours to tackle the increasing threat of disinformation and to make the country the safest place to be online. Government promises to respond in due course.
Cambridge Analytica, a now-defunct British political data-mining firm that worked for the 2016 Donald Trump campaign, had accessed the private information of up to 87 million users. This put Facebook in its biggest privacy scandal last year.