Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Brexit: and Exeter's MP asking the government to investigate

The MP for Exeter is a well-known Europhile:
Speaker John Bercow accidentally calls staunch Remainer Ben Bradshaw 'MP for Brexeter' | London Evening Standard

He has been concerned for some time about alleged interference in the Brexit vote:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and Exeter's MP asking for scrutiny
Futures Forum: Brexit: and Exeter's MP pushing for further investigations

But he is not the only one:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and bots
Futures Forum: Brexit: and the use of data analytics
Futures Forum: A simple guide to algorithms
Futures Forum: The explosion of online propaganda and the use of our own data to manipulate us

The PM is now also showing concern:

No 10 'very concerned' over Facebook data breach by Cambridge Analytica

Downing Street backs information commissioner inquiry into data-mining affecting millions of people
Facebook logos
 Facebook admitted it had known in 2015 that profile data were passed to Alexander Nix’s company. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

Downing Street has expressed its concern about the Facebook data breach involving the analytics company that worked with Donald Trump’s campaign team and that affected tens of millions of people.
No 10 weighed in on the row as almost $20bn (£14bn) was wiped off the social network company’s market cap in the first few minutes of trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange, where Facebook opened down more than 3%. By midday, the company’s share price losses had multiplied to more than $40bn, making the day its worst in more than five years.
Theresa May’s spokesman said she backed an investigation by the information commissioner, which was prompted by a whistleblower who told the Observerhow Cambridge Analytica had harvested millions of Facebook profiles to influence voters through “psychographic” targeting.

 Everything you need to know about the Cambridge Analytica exposé – video explainer

The European parliament president, Antonio Tajani, said on Monday that the institution would investigate fully. Tajani urged the social media company to take more responsibility, saying on Twitter that “allegations of misuse of Facebook user data is an unacceptable violation of our citizens’ privacy rights”.
In the US, a state attorney general has called for investigations, greater accountability and regulation, while the head of the parliamentary committee in the UK investigating fake news accused Cambridge Analytica and Facebook of misleading MPs, with the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport warning of an end to the “wild west” of technology firms.

“The allegations are clearly very concerning. It’s essential people can have confidence that their personal data can be protected and used in an appropriate way,” May’s spokesman said.
“So it is absolutely right the information commissioner is investigating this matter and we expect Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and all the organisations involved to cooperate fully.”

No 10 'very concerned' over Facebook data breach by Cambridge Analytica | Technology | The Guardian

Now the head of the company has gone:
Cambridge Analytica suspends CEO Alexander Nix after undercover recordings air - CNNPolitics
Revealed: Trump’s election consultants filmed saying they use bribes and sex workers to entrap politicians – Channel 4 News

Which follows on from questions from MP Ben Bradshaw in the Commons:

My question on the need for the Government belatedly to investigate the role of Cambridge Analytica & Facebook in the referendum and alleged Kremlin links.

Ben Bradshaw (@BenPBradshaw) | Twitter

Which sounds a little like an episode from Black Mirror:
The Waldo Moment - Wikipedia
Black Mirror | Waldo Trailer - YouTube
The Waldo Moment: when Black Mirror made elections terrifying - iNews
Black Mirror on Twitter: "This isn't an episode. This isn't marketing. This is reality."

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