Facebook must come to the European Parliament and explain alleged unauthorised data harvesting

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Today, S&D MEPs called for representatives from Cambridge Analytica and Facebook to come to the European Parliament to explain allegations that data of over 50 million Facebook users had been harvested without their permission and used for political purposes. 
 
S&D Group Vice-President for digital affairs, Josef Weidenholzer, said:
 
“If proven true, this may be the biggest example of unauthorised harvesting of data in Facebook’s history. It would be outrageous that the data and information of Facebook users’ was obtained, without their permission, for political purposes, and under the pretext of academic research. We expect representatives from Facebook to come to the Parliament and explain what exactly occurred, what measures have been taken to ensure it will not happen again, and whether similar activities have occurred in the European Union. We also want representatives from Cambridge Analytica to come and explain their activities to the Parliament.
 
“Facebook should under no circumstances be used to manipulate voters for the sake of political electioneering. The allegations of psychological profiling and behaviour influencing of voters are alarming as they can seriously undermine citizens' trust in democracy.  Instead of promoting free, democratic and pluralistic debate, social media is being misused to fuel prejudice and intolerance towards those with differing views. With the next European Elections approaching, we urgently need a conversation about the role social media plays in political discourse and we need to see what measures social media companies are taking to ensure fair and impartial debate.”