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Committee set to discuss ‘fake news’ and data as a human right

Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer
Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer

The International Grand Committee on Disinformation and ‘Fake News’ will be meeting in Ottawa May 28.

This is the second meeting of the group, the first one being in London, England last year.

Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer, who is Chair of the Canadian Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, together with Damian Collins, MP and Chair of the UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee made the announcement this morning

“I am looking forward to welcoming our international colleagues to Ottawa as we continue to build upon what we accomplished in London,” said Zimmer. “With several countries, including Canada, holding elections this year it is vital that we continue collaborating to protect our democracies from the global threats of foreign influence and disinformation on digital platforms,” said Zimmer, in a news release. “This meeting will also provide us with the opportunity to hear from these platforms about what they are doing to protect our citizens from the threats of manipulation that we know are active online.”

“The first Grand Committee meeting in London brought together the expertise of elected representatives from all around the world,” said Collins. “These are global issues and we need to learn from the experiences of different countries in confronting these problems. We look forward to coming together for a second time in Ottawa. The unprecedented nature of these hearings underlines the central importance that the ethics of the use of technology plays both to our democracies and our daily lives. My select committee has also embarked on a new inquiry about immersive and addictive technologies and we plan to come to Canada armed with fresh evidence and questions for the tech firms.”

While the upcoming meeting will continue to focus on holding digital platforms to account, the committee will also examine foreign influence on democracies and data as a human right.

The inaugural meeting of the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and ‘Fake News’ was held in London, UK on November 27, 2018. Witnesses included Facebook’s Vice President of Policy Solutions Richard Allan, UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, and Tech Expert and former Chief Technologist of the Federal Trade Commission Ashkan Soltani.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg declined several requests to appear before the committee in November.



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