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A judge just backed Facebook over Canada’s own privacy commissioner. Here’s why

Testifying before U.S. Congress on Thursday, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew told lawmakers he doesn’t believe its ownership by the Chinese-based company ByteDance “is the issue here.” He also questioned the track record of American social media giants on data privacy. “I mean look at Facebook – and Cambridge Analytica. Just one example,” he said – Mar 23, 2023

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.

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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.

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Global News reached out to the office of the privacy commissioner (OPC) to ask whether officials there plan to appeal the Federal Court ruling on Monday.

“The OPC initiated this court application to protect Canadians’ privacy. With this in mind, we are reviewing the court’s decision to determine the next steps,” the office said in a statement.

— with files from Global News


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