It’s Monday morning and I don’t need a crystal ball to predict the subject of most of the questions that I will be asked this week.
Cambridge Analytica recently acquired personal data on 87 million Facebook users and Facebook will begin notifying those users whose data was supplied to Cambridge Analytica this week. If you are one of the estimated 1 million UK users whose data has been transferred, you may receive a message in your Facebook feed today.
There seems to be an interesting divergence of views about this type of data referral, some people are sanguine and accept this as an inevitable consequence of corporate “Big Data” marketing strategies, while others are outraged about the invasion of privacy and the alledged impact upon the Brexit referendum.
Personally, I am sceptical about the possible influence on a national referendum. The data was obtained using a Facebook “personality quiz” which harvested not only the users’ responses but also their contacts and I suspect that the revelation that I prefer dogs to cats and I am a “glass half full” person would not have assisted either side in the Brexit vote.
I have been asked whether there may be potential for a compensation claim but this is unlikely due to the prevailing weak data protection regime in the UK. The situation would have been different after the implementation of the GDPR in May and I wonder whether this has been the driver for the whistleblowing by Christopher Wylie, who is the co-founder of Cambridge Analytica. It may be that this “scandal” is less a victory for personal privacy and more about a corporate clearing of decks prior to the implementation of the new regulatory regime.
In either case this does illustrate the significance of GDPR implementation and for anyone interested in my thoughts I have attached a link to a series of my articles with advice about designing corporate compliance strategies for the new regime. Here
The other question that I will be asked all week will be about the winner of the Grand National on Saturday but this year I am less interested in the big race than the story of Captain Guy Disney who attempts to become the first amputee to ride over the National course in the Foxhunters Chase. I will be crossing my fingers for a safe trip for all runners and riders and I will be having a close look at “Seeyouatmidnight” in the main event. Other horses are available…