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TO MAKE a profit @ OUR EXPENSE as ever [IT] HAS BEEN

Invigilation is a particular weakness in Britain. Our parliament last passed substantial legislation on data protection 15 years ago. That is like trying to govern the airline industry with rules made for hot-air ballooning. Britain’s data protection regulator is the information commissioner. Her powers are so feeble that it took nearly a week to get her team through the front door of Cambridge Analytica. Let us just say that this is rather longer than it takes to press delete. The information commissioner and the electoral commission, both bodies set up for an entirely different technological landscape, are under-powered and under-resourced. There are rising and cross-party demands for a toughening up of the data protection bill now going through the Commons. One modest step would be to add criminal penalties for companies which fail to comply with disclosure orders.

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Comment by Michael Grove on January 16, 2023 at 10:32

[IT] can be hard to remember from down here, beneath the avalanche of words and promises and apologies and blogposts and manifestos that Facebook has unleashed upon us over the course of the past year, but when the Cambridge Analytica story broke one year ago, Mark Zuckerberg’s initial response was a long and deafening silence.

It took five full days for the founder and CEO of Facebook – the man with total control over the world’s largest communications platform – to emerge from his Menlo Park cloisters and address the public. When he finally did, he did so with gusto, taking a new set of talking points (“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you”) on a seemingly unending roadshow, from his own Facebook pageto the mainstream press to Congress and on to an oddly earnest discussion series he’s planning to subject us to at irregular intervals for the rest of 2019.

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