Tell Congress to Protect Our Personal Information

In March 2018, the public learned of yet another major privacy violation: Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm that supported President Trump’s campaign, amassed private information from roughly 50 million Facebook users without the vast majority of these users’ knowledge or consent. Cambridge Analytica did so by exploiting Facebook’s policies, which enabled Facebook apps to collect not only their users’ data, but also their users’ friends’ data.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal is not unique. Unauthorized access to personal data seems to be a running theme over the past year. The latest estimates show the Equifax data breach affected half of the U.S. population, and hardly a week goes by without another data breach being reported.

It’s time for the public to take a stand on unauthorized access to data — whether that’s data obtained with authorization but shared and used in ways that exceed user permission, like Cambridge Analytica, or a breach where data is obtained without any consent at all, like Equifax.

In the digital era, it is impossible to fully participate in society without sharing our personal information with third parties like Facebook. Congress needs to step in to protect consumers.

Send a letter to your members of Congress with the tool above. Tell them that companies like Facebook and Equifax should:

  • be required give consumers notice and obtain consumers’ affirmative consent before they retain or share consumers’ personal information;
  • adhere to robust security standards when retaining private information; and
  • stop using forced arbitration clauses that take away the right of consumers to sue when these companies betray their trust.

It’s time for Congress to return control of personal data to the people providing it — the rightful owners.

Read more about how Congress should respond to Cambridge Analytica here

Image credit: Visual Content on Flickr