Cayetano: Facebook made PH more democratic

HONG KONG—While the government has yet to determine whether the country’s data privacy law has been violated, Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano is worried for social media giant Facebook.


“Of course there are concerns about privacy. But on the other hand, there is also concern about the future of Facebook, because Facebook has made the Philippines much more democratic,” Cayetano said in a media briefing on Wednesday.


Cayetano made the statement after Facebook admitted that the personal data of 87 million users, including about 1.2 million Filipinos, were improperly shared with the British firm Cambridge Analytica.


It was later learned that the head of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, also met with cousins Pompee La Viña and Peter Tiu La Viña, key members of President Duterte’s campaign team in the 2016 elections.


Communication platform


But Cayetano, the President’s running mate in the 2016 election, said Facebook gave ordinary Filipinos a platform to communicate, be it for commerce or for self-promotion.


Cayetano said he was monitoring the data scandal involving Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, whose billionaire founder, Mark Zuckenberg, just finished two days of testimony before the United States Congress.


Mr. Duterte’s campaign team has credited social media for helping him win the last election, but Malacañang denied that the Duterte team contracted Cambridge Analytica.