Mark Zuckerberg's testimony

OpenMedia r1

Hi Paov,

Mark Zuckerberg is being grilled on Capitol Hill about Facebook’s privacy and data scandals — and people are angry.1

...

Over the past few weeks, there have been multiple revelations about just how widespread Facebook’s privacy abuses have been.

But what people are most angry about is the lack of power that governments have to protect their own citizens from these kinds of powerful companies. Relying on these companies to protect our privacy is clearly a model that has failed us all.

And in Canada, the problem is even worse: The parts of our privacy legislation that deal with these sorts of modern threats are woefully out of date.2

Over 10,000 Canadians have already signed a petition to demand reform of our privacy laws. Will you join as well?

DEMAND PRIVACY LAW REFORM

We need legislation that gives Canada the power to force compliance with our privacy rules, and which has consequences if companies don’t. Far too many of them are flouting the rules because they know they can get away with it.

For years we’ve heard the same apologies for the same breaches of trust by these companies. And then nothing changes.3 What is clear is that they will never improve their practices unless the law compels them. It’s time for the government to step up.

With more and more of these scandals breaking every day, the momentum has never been stronger to push for the privacy laws we deserve. Please join the campaign!

DEMAND PRIVACY LAW REFORM

Thank you for everything you do,

Victoria, with OpenMedia

My original email is below.

Footnotes:
[1] Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook hearing was an utter sham: The Guardian
[2] No Longer Fit for Purpose: Why Canadian Privacy Law Needs an Update: Michael Geist
[3] Why Zuckerberg’s 14-year apology tour hasn’t fixed Facebook: Wired

____________

Paov, if you feel concerned about the implications of the Facebook data scandal, you’re not alone.

The revelations have exposed so much more than just how Cambridge Analytica was able to inappropriately collect information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users.

It has shown the world the incredible scale of how social media companies and data brokers are harvesting and exploiting the private social media activity of millions of people around the world.1

And it’s shown us something else: how Canada’s shockingly out-of-date privacy laws have failed to protect us, and how they have no power to help us prevent something like this from happening again.2

Despite years of recommendations, our government has stalled on implementing key fixes that could give our laws the teeth they need to take action on this, like an end to political parties being exempt from privacy laws, and actual powers to enforce compliance orders.

DEMAND PRIVACY LAW REFORM

The law that governs our private data is called PIPEDA (The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act). It governs how private companies collect and use our personal information.

But when violations are found, our laws are toothless: the act gives no power for our Privacy Commissioner to issue penalties or force compliance. This means that companies have no incentive to comply, and if caught, suffer no real consequences.3

What’s more, our own political parties are exempt from key privacy laws. This certainly leaves Canadians wondering if our own government is acting with our best interests in mind, especially after it was revealed that the Liberal party paid $100,000 to the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower in 2016.4

These are just a few examples of where our privacy laws are falling short. We need a firm commitment, in light of this most recent data scandal, to make long-overdue reforms to our privacy laws.

DEMAND PRIVACY LAW REFORM

What this scandal has really highlighted is how aggressive business models built on data harvesting, combined with deceptive marketing which misleads users about their privacy options, leads to disturbing privacy violations like this.

Some are quick to say that ordinary people should ‘know better’ or that this is simply the cost of being online today. But we believe that people deserve better than this. It is the opposite of a free and open internet, and we deserve our government to take the necessary steps to protect us.

There’s huge momentum around this issue right now, and if we can harness it, we have the best chance we’ve had in a decade to bring Canada’s privacy protections up to date. I hope you can be a part of it!

DEMAND PRIVACY LAW REFORM

Thanks again for all you do!

Victoria with OpenMedia

PS The Facebook data scandal is just the tip of the iceberg – and without changes to our laws, it will almost certainly happen again. We’ll need expert advice and strong legal and public pressure to make sure we lock in these long-overdue changes. Can you help by r32 If you no longer wish to receive these r46 to unsubscribe.

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