S&D VPs in Silicon Valley: US tech companies must do more to allay EU citizens’ privacy concerns

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Following a fact-finding mission this week by S&D Group vice-presidents Jeppe Kofod and Tanja Fajon to the United States to meet with executives from US technology firms and government officials, the Group has called for more action to rebuild citizens’ trust following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.   
 
S&D Group vice-president responsible for globalisation, Jeppe Kofod, added:
 
“Globalisation impacts us all. Therefore, we all must come to benefit from it. Our meetings in Silicon Valley laid bare both enormous opportunities and serious potential risks in artificial intelligence (AI), automation and robotization. Reaping the former whilst minimizing the latter will require new legislation fit for a globally interconnected world. 
 
“I have no faith that the current US administration under Trump will protect citizens over companies. Therefore, this responsibility lies firmly with us, the directly elected members of the European Parliament. 
 
“We had a clear message to Facebook: We will never compromise on data protection and data privacy for EU citizens. With GDPR, the EU once again showed that we are rule-makers, not rule-takers when we move ahead with an ambitious and progressive legislative agenda. EU-rules and regulations must, and will, remain the gold standard in a globalised world.” 
 
S&D Group vice-president responsible for countering extremism, Tanja Fajon, said: 
 
“Concern for our citizens’ data protection and privacy needs to be at the heart of our policies in the digital age. We have to work together in order to find the best possible solutions for numerous challenges posed by digitalisation, automation, the development of new technologies and the rapid growth of social media.
 
“Facebook’s popularity and success go hand in hand with responsibility towards its users, but also towards society more generally. This is why fighting fake news by providing means to remove hate speech and inappropriate content needs to be one of its priorities. We will continue following the developments to make sure the protection of privacy is improved and its misuse for political purposes is prevented. Attempts to mislead or manipulate citizens is never acceptable and we must be extremely vigilant towards it in the run up to the European elections.”
 

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