New 2018 ETHI Report – Democracy under Threat: Risks and Solutions in the Era of Disinformation and Data Monopoly
The Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics recently published its December 2018 Report : Democracy under Threat: Risks and Solutions in the Era of Disinformation and Data Monopoly.
In late March 2018, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics began a study of the breach of personal information involving Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. The scandal quickly brought to light much broader questions relating to the self-regulation of platform monopolies, the use of these platforms for data harvesting purposes, and their role in the spreading of disinformation and misinformation around the world.
In June 2018, this committee published an interim report and then pursued its study this fall. The committee remains of the view that the Government of Canada must act urgently to better protect the privacy of Canadians. To that end, in addition to the preliminary recommendations put forward in June 2018, the committee is of the view that the Government of Canada should subject political parties and political third parties to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), that it should provide additional resources to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to ensure efficient exercise of its additional powers, that it should ensure that no foreign funding has an impact on elections in Canada as well as ensure transparency in online political advertisements, that it should impose certain obligations on social media platforms regarding the labelling of content produced algorithmically, the labelling of paid advertisement online, the removal of inauthentic and fraudulent accounts, and the removal of manifestly illegal contents such as hate speech. The committee is also of the view that the Government of Canada should provide to an existing or a new regulatory body the mandate to proactively audit algorithms.
This content has been updated on December 21, 2018 at 16 h 09 min.