Sensitive data use: UK government collects usage data in context of Brexit

As it was revealed last year, Cambridge Analytica influenced the 2016 US presidential election and the Vote Leave campaign on Brexit. Among other things, the company claims to have pushed candidates "from a no-name to a well-known, electable candidate forward" - with the help of the systematic processing of personal data. These were tapped by Facebook, for example: "We took advantage of Facebook to harvest millions of people's profiles. And built models to take advantage of what we knew about them and target their inner demons. That was the foundation on which the whole company was built," Christopher Wylie said in an interview with the Observer magazine.

In the hot phase of Brexit, which is currently (still) scheduled for 31 October, information and personal data may also be systematically collected by the UK government and will be systematically collected with regard to a Brexit, election or referendum strategy. as reported by The Guardian. A memo from Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Cabinet committee ministers tasked with no-deal preparations is said to link the collection of user data specifically to the government's decision-making on Brexit.

This usage data is to be collected via the official government websites GOV.UK. GOV.UK is the UK government's public internet platform, which provides information and links to services ranging from passports to pensions. Since the beginning of this month, it has also been the hub for the government's advertising campaign to prepare voters and businesses for a no-deal Brexit. The government is advertising on Facebook and elsewhere, urging people to prepare for Brexit and instructing them to get GOV.UK more information.

Characteristic of this matter is the role of the Prime Minister's controversial external Brexit adviser Dominic Cummings, who is said to have instructed officials that data collection was a "top priority." Pascal Crowe of the Open Rights Group, which campaigns for digital privacy and freedoms, said: "This decision completely disregards the data rights of ordinary citizens. There is no proposal for a public consultation to seek consent or promote protective measures."

[Automatic translation]

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