A year before the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, David Carroll, professor of Media Design at the New School of New York, was unhappy with the way the political marketing firm was using his data, after it was revealed that it had created profiles of up to 240 million Americans and boasted of having between 4,000 and 5,000 data points of every voter.Source: BBC.
In July 2017, Carroll asked the company to provide details of the data it had on him.
In March of the following year, he was sent two files containing his voter registration information, historical participation in elections, and an ideological model of how he might vote in the future.
Carroll and British authorities believed Cambridge Analytica was withholding information. Following a complaint by Carroll, the UK court ordered Cambridge Analytica to provide much more complete information.
The company ignored the order and opted to file for bankruptcy.
How to protect your personal data in the digital age?
At present, our personal data is valuable assets that many companies and organizations seek to obtain for various purposes, including the analysis of user profiles. The Cambridge Analytica scandal was a clear example of how personal data can be used to influence public opinion and manipulate political processes.
According to Cambridge Analytica, voters’ political profiles contained up to 5,000 items of information for each person. This amount of data is overwhelming and can only be efficiently obtained and processed by advanced machines and algorithms. The question is: what can we do to protect our privacy in this digital age?
A possible solution could be the implementation of a digital ID, a tool that allows us to manage our personal data more securely and consciously. With a digital ID, we would have control to decide what information we want to share and which of that data we want to restrict to processing by machines.
This would not only protect our privacy, but also allow us to participate more actively in the use and flow of our data. Imagine being able to choose who you share certain information with and knowing exactly how it’s being used. A well-designed digital ID could provide transparency and empowerment to users.
In addition, as technology continues to advance, it is essential that data protection regulations and laws evolve as well. It is essential that companies and organizations are responsible and respect the privacy of users. This includes providing clear and transparent information about data usage, obtaining explicit consent from users, and ensuring the security of the information collected.
The handling of personal data
The handling of personal data is a crucial issue in the digital age. Protecting our privacy and having control over our data should be a priority. A digital ID could be a powerful tool to achieve this, but it is also critical that companies and governments work together to ensure effective and responsible protection of users’ personal information. Privacy matters and we must protect it!