Canadian Security Magazine

Federal Court sides with Facebook in privacy case tied to Cambridge Analytica affair

The Canadian Press   

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A judge has dismissed the federal privacy watchdog’s bid for a declaration that Facebook broke the law governing the use of personal information in a case flowing from the Cambridge Analytica affair.

In his ruling, Justice Michael Manson says the privacy commissioner has not shown that the social media giant failed to obtain meaningful consent from Facebook users or neglected to adequately safeguard their information.

A 2019 investigation report from Daniel Therrien, federal privacy commissioner at the time, and his British Columbia counterpart cited major shortcomings in Facebook’s procedures and called for stronger laws to protect Canadians.

The probe followed reports that Facebook, now called Meta, let an outside organization use a digital app to access users’ personal information, and that data was then passed to others.

The app, at one point known as “This is Your Digital Life,” encouraged users to complete a personality quiz but collected much more information about the people who installed the app.

Recipients of the information included British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which was involved in U.S. political campaigns and targeted messaging.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 17, 2023.

Meta funds a limited number of fellowships that support emerging journalists at The Canadian Press.

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