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EU approves rules to sanction the use of voters’ personal data in European elections

Friday, 22 March, 2019 - 12:16

The European Union has agreed to new rules imposing economic sanctions on political parties that try to influence the results of the European Parliament elections using the personal data of voters.

The European Council, which is composed of the leaders of the bloc’s Member States, adopted rules aimed at preventing European political parties from “unduly using personal data in elections to the European Parliament,” according to a statement. 

The decision was taken after the scandal surrounding the British consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica, which used an application to collect data from millions of Facebook users that could have been used to influence the 2016 US presidential election and in the UK’s ” Brexit ” referendum, also in 2016.

With the passage of the rules, economic sanctions can now be imposed on European political parties and foundations which, “deliberately and taking advantage of cracks in data protection regulations, influence or try to influence the outcome of elections” to the European Parliament, said the Council.

In particular, a verification procedure will be established to determine whether a violation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation, detected by a national supervisory authority, is linked to the political activities of a European political party or foundation in the context of the elections to the European Parliament, to be held between May 23 and 26.




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