News

News | Published November 26 2018

Invicta welcomes GDPR as MPs seize Facebook data documents 

Attention has once again been drawn to privacy regulations and the protection of personal data after MPs, investigating the Cambridge Analytica data breach, seized a cache of Facebook documents. Invicta IT, who featured in the Review’s Technology edition, discussed the need for increasing regulation and how they have employed Varonis, a programme which helps to structure client data, to ensure all of their clients remain compliant. 

Obscure parliamentary powers were employed to seize documents from a visiting boss of the US software firm Six4Three. The serjeant-at-arms of the House of Commons, Kamal El-Hajji, was sent to the individual’s hotel room to deliver a final warning and a two-hour deadline to hand over the relevant information. After he refused, the software boss was escorted to parliament and threatened with fines or imprisonment if he did not comply. Six4Three is currently involved in litigation against Facebook and the documents were acquired through the legal process in the US.

Key Facts
  • MPs seize documents relating to Facebook data use 
  • Invicta IT welcome new GDPR regulation to protect consumer data
  • Facebook have requested that the documents be returned 
  • This follows a £500,000 fine imposed by the UK data watchdog

Damien Collins, the chairman of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee stated that he believes the documents include emails relating to the method by which Facebook, and third party applications, process and store user data. He added that “As you know, we have asked many questions of Facebook about its policies on sharing user data with developers, how these have been enforced, and how the company identifies activity by bad actors. We believe that the documents we have ordered from Six4Three could contain important information about this which is of a high public interest.” Facebook has since requested that the material be returned as it is “subject to a protective order of the San Mateo Superior Court restricting their disclosure.”

 

Being a company that helps companies secure data, we are naturally inclined toward supporting legislation like GDPR. Many organizations hold sensitive personal data and have done so for a long time without proper justification.

This follows a £500,000 fine imposed on Facebook by the UK data watchdog for their conduct during the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Discussing increasing regulation to protect consumer data, CEO of Invicta IT Michael Jacobs wrote that “Being a company that helps companies secure data, we are naturally inclined toward supporting legislation like GDPR. Many organizations hold sensitive personal data and have done so for a long time without proper justification. The government addressing this issue more fundamentally is a welcome development as far as we’re concerned.”

As government seeks to crack down on such data breaches, and the use of personal data for marketing and data analysis without consent, it is becoming increasingly necessary for companies to ensure they are inline with regulation. Invicta IT work to educate their clients about these new requirements and consider increasing regulation as a growth opportunity. Jacobs stressed that “All in all, though, GDPR has presented our sector with growth and revenue opportunities. In the future we expect that companies will become acclimatised to this regulatory environment and no longer require as much consultancy of this kind.”