“Sorry is not enough”: WP29 establishes a Social Media Working Group

16 April 2018

Members of the WP29 have issued guidance on how individuals may exercise their rights as data subjects and make use of the controls currently provided by social media platforms. The Working Party 29 (WP29), the group uniting European data protection authorities, announces its full support for the ongoing investigations by national privacy authorities into the collection and use of personal data by and through social media. In addition, the WP 29 will create a Social Media Working Group to develop a long-term strategy on the issue.

Andrea Jelinek, Chair of Working Party 29, says: “We reiterate our earlier commitment to assist and fully cooperate with the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in its investigation of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. We are also committed to work closely together through our existing Facebook Contact Group1 and speak with one voice. “We are at the start of a new era of data protection. The protection of individuals against unlawful use of their personal data on social media platforms will be one of our key priorities.
“A multi-billion dollar social media platform saying it is sorry simply is not enough. While Cambridge Analytica and Facebook are on top of everyone’s mind we aim to cast our net wider and think long-term. This is why we are creating a Social Media Working Group. What we are seeing today is most likely only one instance of the much wider spread practice of harvesting personal data from social media for economic or political reasons. WP29 is fully aware, however, that the issue is broader and concerns other actors, such as app developers and data brokers. The work of this Social Media Working Group will continue after the establishment of the European Data Protection Board. The EDPB will have a wide range of competences in order to ensure the consistency of the application of the GDPR.”
WP29 is currently meeting in Brussels. On 25 May, with the entry into application of the General Data Protection Regulation, WP 29 will be replaced by the European Data Protection Board.


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