The reaction in Lebanon has been muted, despite the large number of Facebook users in the country.
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In the wake of revelations that Facebook shared data from millions of users with companies working on election strategy, local experts point to Lebanon's lack of legal protections around information as troubling ahead of upcoming elections.The recent reports that Facebook share the personal data of millions of users with the data mining and analysis company Cambridge Analytica and others have given new impetus to the debate.The scandal resulted in Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg appearing before the United States Congress last week to answer questions on his company's use of personal data. However, the reaction in Lebanon has been muted, despite the large number of Facebook users in the country. According to a 2017 survey on media use in the Middle East by Northwestern University in Qatar, some 77 percent of Lebanese have a Facebook account and some 90 percent use WhatsApp. However, data protection is not on the Lebanese public agenda, even as the country's first parliamentary elections in nine years approach.However, Carney said the collection of data online has more far-reaching consequences and raises the question of whether future elections will be won or lost on the back of data mining and analysis resources.
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