Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and GDPR

By AccountingCPD

The explosion last week around the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica story on the dispute around harvesting and misuse of personal data, is a poignant reminder to us all about how important it is to understand the issues and implications in this ever-changing landscape. We really need to be aware of how we store data and what we do with it and how we share it, and ultimately that we are compliant.

Even being compliant is arguably tricky though as an organisation, as the Guardian sighted today in an article about how the UK needs better data protection: "Today, our legislation, agencies and national strategy are not fit for purpose. Social media giants enjoy a legal privilege invented before they were born, which lets them operate as platforms, not publishers. That means Facebook, YouTube or Twitter can avoid liabilities that newspapers face if they became message carriers for hate speech or death threats."

There are now calls for the UK's data protection bill to be revisited, and this kind of call to action typically happens when a story of Facebook/Cambridge Analytica significance starts to unfold. It will continue to unfold over coming weeks and will create a whole host of discussion and news stories around the protection of data.

How does this story impact on us though in our day to day working lives though? In simple terms it is a reminder about the importance of adhering to current regulations surrounding data. Obviously, this is topical in any case at the moment with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into force on 25 May this year.

Data and its protection has, and will continue to be, part of an ongoing global debate, and stories such as the one involving Facebook/Cambridge Analytica just bring to the fore how important it is to be aware of how we use, interpret and share data and to ensure we are compliant with current regulation.