InternetNZ has responded to the furore around use of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica by promising to promote discussion the issues around access to data and data analytics thrown up by the case.
However InternetNZ CEO Jordan Carter has warned against over-reaction to the issue saying: “We agree there are real concerns raised by large-scale sharing and use of user data, but there is also a risk that knee-jerk responses fail to address broader problems. … There are issues here around sovereignty, the value and use of data and the implications of data management. There’s a real need to open a conversation here in New Zealand about these issues.”
Carter welcomed the investigations by UK authorities into whether Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook was unlawful, but said: “Even with the best individual privacy protections, there are broader issues including society-wide impacts of data use and sharing,”
He said InternetNZ would explore these issues further in 2018. “We will support informed discussion on the Privacy Bill introduced to Parliament this week, and will be providing forums and analysis to support this vital conversation, as part of our ongoing work to promote the Internet’s benefits and protect its potential.”
Others are also calling for greater debate about privacy. In a blog post on the bill Frith Tweedie, digital law leader at EY Law, said: “It’s time for those interested in privacy protection to have their say. What’s needed is a national conversation about privacy and how individuals expect organisations to manage their personal information, both now and for the next 25 years. Community views will be significant in influencing any changes the government might make during the legislative process.”
In October 2016 Privacy Commissioner John Edwards, who at the time also chaired the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, said privacy had become “one of the defining issues of our age, “ and that with privacy policies being discussed by the highest levels of government in several international fora: “There is no trade-off to be made between enterprise, innovation and privacy.”