'Facebook critic' named favourite for next information commissioner

The Government has picked its preferred candidate to head up the UK’s privacy watchdog.

On Thursday the culture secretary announced that John Edwards, who is the current privacy commissioner of New Zealand, is the favourite to take over as UK information commissioner.

Elizabeth Denham has held the role for five years.

According to Sky News, Edwards is a critic of Facebook, having described the social media network as “morally bankrupt pathological liars.”

The news site claims that in a since deleted tweet, he accused Facebook of enabling "the live-streaming of suicides, rapes, and murders" and criticised the platform for continuing "to host and publish the mosque attack video, allow advertisers to target 'Jew haters' and other hateful market segments, and refuse to accept any responsibility for any content or harm."

Edwards, who has 20 years experience practicing law and specialising in information law, will now appear before MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for pre-appointment scrutiny on 9 September 2021.

John Edwards was appointed to his existing role in February 2014.

He is currently serving his second five-year term, responsible for the implementation of New Zealand’s newly passed Privacy Act 2020.

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