Facebook and UK Privacy Regulator ICO Complicit in subverting democracy

Responding to Channel 4’s latest revelations about the massive cache of voter data used by the Trump campaign, Jim Killock, Executive Director of Open Rights Group said:

“This latest revelations lays bare two key problems. The complicity of Facebook and the inability of regulators to protect the integrity of elections and subverting the will of the people. 

“Dark and divisive ads which are aimed at stirring up racial tensions undermines the democratic integrity of our elections and endangers the social fabrics of our society. 

“Here in the UK, the democratic rights of ethnic minorities could be at risk. Any threat to our existing high standard of data protection laws which the UK government is reportedly keen to give away in exchange for a Free Trade Agreement with the Trump administration will allow politicians and external actors to undermine our democracy and subvert the will of the people. 

“Big tech such as Facebook and regulators should bear responsibility for failing to stem the spread of Trump-inspired, race-baiting political campaigning which we’ve witnessed in recent years. 

“Our political parties must show responsibility and leadership in the use of personal data in political campaigns. This race to the bottom in data use could fatally undermine trust in politics.

“This huge cache of voter data provided to the Trump campaign by Cambridge Analytica was laundered – unlawfully – in the UK. 

“This further highlights ICO’s fundamental failure in enforcing the data protection laws. 

“The ICO has repeatedly refused to enforce data protection rights and hold both Government and private companies to account. Without an effective regulator, data protection cannot properly function.

“It is astonishing that Channel 4 has succeeded where the regulator has failed. Elizabeth Denham and the ICO must now be held to account by Parliament.” 



Al Ghaff 07951265812 / press@openrightsgroup.org  

Notes to the Editor

1. Report in the Guardian about Dominic Cummings’ plan to re-write UK’s data protection laws: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/sep/25/dominic-cummings-data-law-shake-up-a-danger-to-trade-says-eu