I have voted in favour of this Motion, which tackles the issues of the violation of users’ privacy and the use of personal data without prior consent. Citizens who use Facebook should know how their data is being used and by whom. Facebook recognised that its systems had been hacked and that the personal data of 50 million users, including up to 2.7 million EU citizens, was exposed. Most importantly, authorities found that data obtained from Facebook by Cambridge Analytica was used to target voters in both the 2016 US presidential election and the UK Brexit referendum.
What is crucial in this Motion is the emphasis on the necessity of applying election laws to online media. They should be used to preserve democracy in the EU and to prevent the use of personal data from influencing elections.
I therefore support the Motion’s proposal to create a system for increased transparency in electronic campaigning and advertising practices so that users may easily access and understand information about which organizations have published, paid for, and sponsored the political advertisements they see on Facebook.
Ahead of the 2019 electoral year in Europe, access to this information will allow users to assess the content of political communications and make well-informed decisions.