Fri, Apr 13, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers urge on NCC to address fake news issue

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Legislative Yuan’s Transportation Committee yesterday urged the National Communications Commission (NCC) to address the proliferation of fake news online and the need to enhance personal data protection.

The two issues have dominated media coverage this week as Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg testified before the US Congress on how Cambridge Analytica was able to harvest the personal data of 87 million Facebook users, which was alleged to have been used to build the profile of voters targeted by the 2016 campaign of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) said that people have identified many fake news items on social media and other online platforms, including reports that a Kinmen policeman had allegedly beat up a 70-year-old street vendor.

The Kinmen County Police Department denied the reports.

Liu also cited a fake news report on Wednesday, which said that government offices and schools in Taoyuan would be closed that day.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Jason Hsu (許毓仁) asked if the government is capable of handling a severe personal data breach.

NCC Chairwoman Nicole Chan (詹婷怡) said the Cabinet’s National Information and Communication Security Taskforce has told all government agencies that they are obliged to identify fake news that concerns them and clarify errors immediately.

Fake news on Facebook and other large platforms will be investigated and handled by independent third parties, she said.

“The Internet should be jointly overseen by all government agencies because it contains a variety of content. No government agency should think that anything related to the Internet does not concern them,” she said.

The NCC has jurisdiction over the broadcast media and telecom firms, but does not have the power to regulate content on the Internet, she said.

The nation also has the Personal Information Protection Act (個人資料保護法) to protect personal data, she added.

“In compliance with the act, the commission has stipulated relevant regulations to regulate how telecom carriers and broadcast media access personal data. We can share our experience and assist other government agencies in this regard,” Chan said.

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