Facebook could bluster democracy, says former GCHQ boss

Robert HanniganImage copyright
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Robert Hannigan led GCHQ from 2014 to 2017

Facebook could turn a hazard to democracy though worse regulation, a former conduct of comprehension group GCHQ has said.

Robert Hannigan told a BBC a amicable media hulk was some-more meddlesome in profiting from user information than “protecting your privacy”.

It comes after MPs this week accused Facebook of distinguished tip deals over user data.

The organisation has also been criticised for a doing of feign news.

In an talk with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Hannigan said: “This isn’t a kind of feathery gift providing giveaway services. It’s is a really headstrong ubiquitous business and these large tech companies are radically a world’s biggest tellurian advertisers, that’s where they make their billions.

“So in lapse for a use that we find useful they take your data… and fist each dump of distinction out of it.”

Asked if Facebook was a hazard to democracy, Mr Hannigan said: “Potentially yes. we consider it is if it isn’t tranquil and regulated.

“But these large companies, quite where there are monopolies, can’t honestly remodel themselves. It will have to come from outside.”

Document cache

Emails created by Facebook’s arch and his deputies uncover a organisation struck tip deals to give some developers special entrance to user information while refusing others, MPs pronounced progressing this week.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee published a cache of inner papers online as partial of a exploration into feign news.

It pronounced a files also showed Facebook had deliberately done it “as tough as possible” for users to be wakeful of remoteness changes to a Android app.

But Facebook pronounced a papers had been presented in a “very dubious manner” and compulsory additional context.

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Mr Hannigan also downplayed regard about a Chinese telecoms association Huawei after its arch financial officer was arrested in Canada this week.

The charges have not been done open though are believed to describe to a company’s defilement of Iran sanctions.

However, there are concerns that China uses Huawei record for espionage and some countries have barred a apparatus from their 5G mobile networks.

Mr Hannigan said: “My worry is there is a arrange of violence flourishing during a impulse about Chinese record in general, and Huawei in particular, that is driven by all sorts of things though not by bargain a record or a probable threat. And we do need a calmer and some-more unfeeling proceed here.”

He pronounced no “malicious backdoors” had been found in Huawei’s systems, nonetheless there were concerns about a firm’s proceed to cyber confidence and engineering.

“We all know what that leads to though that is insufficiency not malice,” he said.

He added: “The idea… that we can cut ourselves off from all Chinese record in a future, that is not only going to be a cheapest – that it has been in a past – though in many areas a best, is honestly crazy.”