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How U.S. ‘Mind Your Own Business Act’ may send Zuckerberg to jail

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By Rasheed Sobowale

The management of the social media giant company, Facebook Inc. was shaken in 2018 when it was hit by “The Cambridge Analytica” scandal.

Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg testifies before on Capitol Hill in 2018 following the privacy scandal.
Mark Zuckerberg testifies before on Capitol Hill in 2018 following the privacy scandal. PHOTO: Xinhua / Barcroft Images

As a recall, the scandal was centred on the allegation by the Observer that Facebook allowed a research firm, Cambridge Analytica to extract personal data from millions of users’ profiles without pre-informed consents.

The alleged intent of the use of the retrieved data was to influence the American voters, among others.

The Guardian UK also reported a similitude breach in Nigeria where voters were planned to be targeted by Islamophobic videos displayed to them on Facebook during the 2015 Presidential election.

Cambridge Analytica was reported to have hired another company “AggregateIQ (AIQ), the Canadian digital services firm that worked for Vote Leave during Britain’s EU referendum”.

According to the report; “Cambridge Analytica was hired by a Nigerian billionaire to run a campaign in support of Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian, and the video was targeted at his Muslim opponent, Muhammadu Buhari, who went on to win the election. There is no suggestion that Jonathan was aware of the campaign.”

Facebook stock price plunged during the period the company was trying to vindicate itself while the laws guiding the handling of internet data took a new dimension with strict sanctions implemented in most European countries.

A United States senator, Ronald Lee Wyden has been reported to have proposed a privacy bill designed to protect Americans’ data and anyone who deceptively manipulate it. The bill may make top management officials of technology companies like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg land in jail.

The senator’s statement during the unveiling of the bill shows with no doubt he has someone like Zuckerberg in mind before drafting the Act.

According to a report by Futurism, Wyden said; “Mark Zuckerberg won’t take Americans’ privacy seriously unless he feels personal consequences.

“A slap on the wrist from the FTC won’t do the job, so under my bill he’d face jail time for lying to the government.

“It is based on three basic ideas: consumers must be able to control their own private information; companies must provide vastly more transparency about how they use and share our data; and corporate executives need to be held personally responsible when they lie about protecting our personal information.”

If this bill becomes law in America, most technology company will be forced to rethink their privacy policy or else risk fines and jail of their top executives.

[Full Text of the Mind Your Business Act HERE]

Vanguard News Nigeria.

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