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Statement in the wake of Cambridge Analytica Facebook revelations

23 March 2018

As the membership organisation for consumer groups around the world, Consumers International is deeply concerned by recent revelations that data firm Cambridge Analytica was able to harvest the personal data of more than 50 million Facebook users without their permission, which was then used to profile users and target them with political advertising.

Consumers International supports the calls made by our members in countries where consumers have been affected by this. Our members in the USA, some countries in Europe and Latin America have called for a response from Facebook including:

  • Facebook must inform all users, regardless of where they are located, if their data was accessed by Cambridge Analytica and how it was used.

  • Clear information on the measures Facebook will implement to eliminate the consequences and risks for these consumers, and to guarantee the correct application and respect of their rights.

  • Information regarding how Facebook will compensate consumers for the misuse of their data and how it will reimburse them the economic value that was gained out of the exploitation of the data belonging only to them. 

This issue clearly goes beyond consumer issues alone, but once again demonstrates the need to find a meaningful and sustainable solution to the question of how personal data is being used in the digital age. This will require working with a broad range of voices and consumer groups are well placed to bring together the wide network of stakeholders that are required to address these key questions of trust, accountability and innovation.

Consumers International is therefore today calling on Facebook to start a constructive dialogue with the global consumer movement, to address the personal data implications of their business on consumers and ensure that we can build a digital world consumers can trust.