How global media and IT platforms collect users’ personal data

How global media and IT platforms collect users’ personal data
15 February 2021, 15:18

Last month was marked by an important event, the Davos Economic Forum. One of the most debated issues was the impact of tech giants and new media on private life. Let’s try to understand the legal and ethical component of this process.

The tone of the discussion at the Davos Forum 2021 was set by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, in her speech she declared the EU’s uncompromising position on the threat to democracy from global digital platforms, primarily Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon.

“We want to know how platform algorithms work. We cannot agree that decisions that have far-reaching consequences for our democracy are made by computer programs,” Ms von der Leyen emphasized.

Citing the recent blocking of Donald Trump’s Twitter account as an example, she noted that such a serious interference with freedom of expression should not be based only on the rules of a single new media (digital company), for making such far-reaching decisions, a legislative framework is needed.

If we follow the logic of Ms. von der Leyen and analyze the most “high-profile” cases from the history of media and IT giants (social networks and Facebook in particular) over the past few years, it turns out that the mentioned companies have been repeatedly accused of:

  • collection and processing of personal data of users without their consent;
  • providing personal data of users to third-party companies;
  • global exchange of information about users;
  • creating “shadow profiles” of users;
  • audio recordings of conversations and reading of personal correspondence in instant messengers.

The world is now in the process of forming a legislative framework that would ensure effective regulation of the above issues.


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