Facebook and the Cambridge Analytica Scandal: Privacy and Personal Data Protections in Canada

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Le Jeune, Madeleine




In 2018, the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal made front page news, a data breach that allowed a third-party — Cambridge Analytica — access to personal data of millions in several countries, including over 600,000 Canadians. The scandal brought to light privacy issues to regulators and in the aftermath, Canada conducted an investigation into this unsanctioned use of data. This thesis explores the details of that scandal and the resulting Canadian investigation by the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics (ETHI). These public records are used to provide a lens through which to explore topics of privacy and personal data protection in Canada and what they might mean in a social media platform context. This thesis explores different regulatory mechanisms and makes some recommendations to improve personal data protection and privacy regulations in Canada, including behavioral and structural regulatory solutions that might mitigate similar such scandals in the future.


Mass Communications




Carleton University

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