OTTAWA – Bob Zimmer, Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies and Chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, thanked his UK counterpart for his testimony before committee today.
Damian Collins, Member of Parliament and Chair of the United Kingdom House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Selection Committee, took questions from committee members regarding the United Kingdom’s investigation into how data is used to target information to people on social media.
Mr. Collins discussed recent testimony by cyber-security expert Chris Vickery to the UK committee which contradicts what AIQ executives had testified before the Canadian committee last week.
“What it does seem to demonstrate is a high level of coordination between AIQ, SCL and Cambridge Analytica,” said Mr. Collins. “The ability to access and share information on files between those different companies and also that all of the data was being managed as part of the Brexit referendum campaign was all interchangeable and easily shared as well.”
Also discussed was the role of advertising on Facebook and whether or not consumers should have the option of turning that feature off. Currently, Facebook users have limited control over what advertising is shown on their Facebook newsfeed.
“I think it’s deeply troubling. One that is foremost to me is allowing foreign money to influence our elections and viewers not knowingly being a part of that,” said Mr. Zimmer following Mr. Collins testimony. “And [Facebook] enabling those bad actors to influence our democracy is troubling to us all!”
Mr. Zimmer looks forward to continuing to work closely with Mr. Collins as both countries continue to investigate this important issue.
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