Facebook, Google must be held accountable for data misuse, justice minister says
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Facebook, Google must be held accountable for data misuse, justice minister says

Ayelet Shaked says privacy laws must be maintained

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked attends a swearing in ceremony for newly appointed judges at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, October 30, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked attends a swearing in ceremony for newly appointed judges at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, October 30, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The international community must hold internet giants like Facebook, Twitter or Google accountable for their “irresponsible handling” of their users’ personal data, Israel’s Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked said at a conference on Thursday.

“We must ensure that global companies and internet giants like Facebook, Twitter and Google are held accountable for the irresponsible handling of users personal data,” Shaked said in a keynote to the main plenary of Cyber Week 2018. “We must act to ensure that privacy laws are respected worldwide. We live in a global economy and indeed encourage international cooperation. We should not allow companies from other countries to disregard the right to privacy and the laws that have been legislated to protect our citizens.”

In her remarks,Shaked also talked about the huge benefits and the tremendous risks nations globally face in the digital age, with regards to privacy.

“Digital interfaces make it possible to reach our personal data and exploit it in many different ways,” she said. And all of this “not necessarily in light of our best interests. This creates a great challenge to our right of privacy.”

“Israel cannot and should not be left behind. As a Western democracy we are committed to respect, promote, and protect the right of privacy and data security. A data-centric economy brings many benefits to human life and to the quality of life, but we should make sure that the price that our society is required to pay during this process is not too high.”

The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal over the mishandled Facebook user data has underlined the need for governments to protect the data of citizens globally.

“Democracies globally are under huge attack,” and governments must work together to counter the threat that social media and the collection and sale of personal data poses on our freedom of choice, Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, a senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute who studies the impact of technology on democracy, said recently in an interview.

 

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