Facebook facing record £500000 fine over Cambridge Analytica scandal

Facebook facing record £500000 fine over Cambridge Analytica scandal

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) began investigating the social media giant earlier this year, when evidence emerged that an app had been used to harvest the data of tens of millions of Facebook users worldwide.

The ICO's chief, Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, also issued a statement regarding the findings, saying that the United Kingdom is "at a crossroads" when it comes to data and privacy.

It also said it would send warning letters to 11 political parties to compel them to audit their data protection practices.

"The scandal took place before new European Union data protection laws that allow much larger fines came into force", the broadcaster says. The ICO said it was providing the interim report to help that inquiry.

Facebook broke the law by failing to safeguard people's data and not being transparent about how that data could be harvested, said Ms Denham.

However, the Information Commissioner's report said other regulatory action would include a criminal prosecution against Cambridge Analytica's parent firm, SCL Elections, for failing to deal with the regulator's enforcement notice.

Facebook will have the opportunity to respond to the commissioner before a final decision is made, something the company said it would do soon.

Facebook admitted in April that as many as 87 million people could have had their data shared with Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct data firm used by the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.


Facebook's revenue a year ago totalled $40.7bn (£30.7bn), so half a million pounds.

Facebook is facing a fine of over $650,000 in Britain after the country's information regulator said Wednesday the company failed to protect millions of users' data.

"Trust and confidence in the integrity of our democratic processes risk being disrupted because the average voter has little idea of what is going on behind the scenes", she said.

Facebook has said that a Cambridge University lecturer named Aleksandr Kogan collected the data legitimately through a personality quiz app but then violated Facebook's terms by sharing the information with Cambridge Analytica, a firm later hired by the Trump presidential campaign during the 2016 U.S. election.

"We are fully cooperating with the investigation now under way by the Australian Privacy Commissioner and will review any additional evidence that is made available when the UK Office of the Information Commissioner releases their report", the spokeswoman said.

Among the main areas of concern are that parties buy up marketing lists and lifestyle information from data brokers without proper due diligence and fail to check consents when using third party data analytics companies.

The Leave.EU campaign, which pushed for the U.K.to leave the EU in the Brexit referendum, is also being investigated for exploiting personal data that people had given to a company for insurance purposes.

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