The Recent Cambridge Analytica Scandal And GDPR: Big Data Regulation In 2019

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The Cambridge Analytica scandal has recently become public domain, with the launch of the Netflix documentary "The Great Hack". In 2019, the need for regulation on a complex matter like data acquisition is extremely important, with companies and advertising agencies heavily investing in data points in order to optimise their retargeting campaigns, there are a few problems which should be kept in mind when talking about this complex matter, let's dissect them. 

Are Data Points Regulated In 2019? 

In Europe, the recent GDPR introduction set up general cardinal rules on the usage of data points and big data in general. For example, in simple terms, every website which is using retargeting algorithms (for ads or simple email marketing) should state how the data which is being gathered when pressing "sign up" is stored. This has been put into place after the infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal, which has indeed moved the EU unanimously towards closing the deal in order to provide a more "safe" online environment, in terms of data acquisition. With this being said, there is still room for improvement but data points are definitely more regulated now than how they were a year ago. 

The Usage Of Big Data in Marketing: Is It Still Legal? 

Yes. Cookies and big data gathered for marketing purposes are definitely legal and still follow the MCC (Marketing Code of Conduct) in the UK, which is the biggest country in terms of data gathering in Europe. In the documentary, in fact, it has been pointed out how the Brexit campaign and the Trump political campaigns were heavily using big data gathered from the electors. In 2019, after GDPR and much more strict guidelines, if a particular site is using your data for marketing purposes, it must be stated and clarified when the user is signing up. 

From A Legal Perspective 

Coming back to what has pointed out above, the UK has recently made public files of cases which were related to "big data exploitation". A big Manchester solicitors firm has recently, in fact, said how they received more and more complaints related to online data being stored illegally from different providers, whether if small or large. Many of these were related purely to the fact that, once these people used their phone number on a particular site to register, they've been bombarded with cold sales calls, but this states how the awareness has highly grown on this subject in the past couple of years. Manchester was of course taken into consideration given the abundancy of agencies and tech companies working on big data and data science in general.