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Analysis | An avalanche of information

The Law of Data Protection, in its article 58 bis, opens the door to the parties for the tracking of personal information and political opinions in digital medi

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Analysis | An avalanche of information

The Law of Data Protection, in its article 58 bis, opens the door to the parties for the tracking of personal information and political opinions in digital media without the need to request the consent of the affected. This tracking has to have as objective the production of profiles ideological and customize the propaganda in the scope of an electoral campaign. These personal profiles are a very valuable information about behaviors and interests that allow you to segment in a more efficient way and direct the electoral propaganda.

under this new regulation, the information could be obtained, according to its wording, web pages, and other sources accessible to the public. Put another way, a wide variety of digital media whose sources most relevant are the search engines and social networks.

Google has access to personal data through its search engine, its Chrome browser, YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, the operating system of Android mobile devices, and other services. However, there are equivalent services that respect the privacy as, for example, the search engine Duckduckgo, which does not save personal information and never tracks its users. There are also systems to prevent tracking on the Internet as it is the management of cookies, in particular, its deleted automatically each time you close the browser. A cookie is a file that contains information stored by a website in the browser. That web site you can access to the previous activity of the browser and extract data.

on the other hand, we have social networks. In Spain there are more than 25 million users. The most commonly used today are: WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. WhatsApp is the network that spans a wider age range among its users, while Facebook is more popular in users over the age of 30 years and others, such as Youtube, Instagram and Twitter, for younger users.

According to the information on privacy that provides WhatsApp, the company has access to the mobile phone number, address book contacts, even contacts that do not have WhatsApp. It also shares additional account information, such as your name, profile photo, status message, and the activity of the account. There are social networks, like Twitter, that provide applications or application programming interface to access the tweets of its users and, therefore, to the opinions, comments and trends of these.

All this and many other forms are ways in which the political parties could obtain information on citizens without their consent. This implies that the political parties would have access to a huge amount of information to extract without control of all digital media. [PIEPAG-TRIB]

José Luis Salmerón Silvera is professor of Information Systems at Pablo de Olavide University.

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