Privacy, Voter Surveillance and Democratic Engagement: Challenges for Data Protection Authorities
International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (ICDPPC), October 2019
69 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2020
Date Written: October 2019
At the center of efforts to combat electoral manipulation and propaganda stands the question of how personal data on individual voters is being processed, and whether or not it is done so legally and ethically. Familiar data protection questions are now injected into this heated international debate about democratic practices, and international DPAs now find themselves at the center of a global conversation about the future of democracy. This report (presented to the International Conference of Privacy and Data Protection Authorities in October 2019) reviews the arguments for privacy protection in representative, participatory and deliberative democracy. The report groups jurisdictions To depending on: 1) the strictness of regulation on the capture and processing of personal data on political opinions; and 2) the conditions under which personalised political communication is allowed. From this, we identify five general patterns of data-driven elections: Permissive, Exempted, Regulated, Prohibited and Emerging. We exemplify these patterns with reference to brief case studies on the U.S., Canada, Australia, UK, France, Japan, Kenya and Brazil.
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