MEPs demand full audit of Facebook in wake of data breaches

Tyrone Stewart

Mark Zuckerberg European ParliamentEuropean Parliament is calling for a full audit to be carried out on Facebook to assess how secure the data of EU citizens truly is as the fallout continues from the social network’s various data-related incidents.

MEPs have adopted a resolution are urging Facebook to allow EU bodies to carry out a full audit assessing its data protection and security of personal data, along with recommending that Facebook makes changes to its platform to comply with EU data protection law.

In addition to the Facebook audit, MEPs would like to see additional measures put in place to prevent election manipulation in the future – referencing the Cambridge Analytica and the possibility that the data it obtained had been used for political purposes to influence both the Brexit vote in the UK and the 2016 presidential election in the US.

To prevent election meddling via social media, MEPs have proposed applying conventional ‘off-line’ electoral safeguards to the online world, such as spending and transparency limits; making it easier to recognise online political paid advertisements and the organisation behind them – something Facebook has said it will be implementing; banning profiling for electoral purposes; the labelling of content shared by bot and the speeding up of the process to remove fake accounts, while working with fact checkers and academia; and investigations from member states, with the support of Eurojust, into the alleged political misuse of the internet by foreign bodies.

“This is a global issue, which has already affected our referenda and our elections,” said Claude Moraes, chair of the EU Civil Liberties Commission. “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.”