Facebook to be fined $871,000 after letting Cambridge Analytica mine users’ data

11 July, 2018, 10:26 | Author: Wade Massey

Facebook is to be hit with the maximum £500,000 ($663,000) fine over data protection breaches related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The Information Commissioner's Office has issued the maximum fine allowed under the 1998 Data Protection Act, of £500,000.

The office, which usually does not publish its findings, said that it was doing so due to increased public interest in the subject, according to the Post.

"As we have said before, we should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015", said Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer.

Collins said Wednesday that the social media giant "should now make the results of their internal investigations known to the ICO, our committee and other relevant investigatory authorities".

"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. In an accompanying report, Elizabeth Denham, the United Kingdom information commissioner, expressed unease with the "significant shortfall in transparency" from tech companies, political parties and others that harness sensitive bits of information online. "Whilst these concerns about Facebook's advertising model exist generally in relation to its commercial use, they are heightened when these tools are used for political campaigning".

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Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by Donald Trump in 2016, has denied its work on the US president's successful election campaign made use of data.

Facebook is facing by the UK's privacy watchdog for allowing Cambridge Analytica to improperly access key personal data on millions of its users.

The ICO is also launching a criminal prosecution against SCL Elections, an organisation affiliated with Cambridge Analytica, and has sent warning letters to 11 political parties and "notices compelling them to agree to audits of their data protection policies".

The decision was welcomed by former Cambridge Analytica employee and whistleblower Christopher Wylie.

And U.K. regulators pledged additional scrutiny of Facebook to come.

It's not the first time, however, that Europe has penalized Facebook. The region's competition chief said the social media company had provided misleading information about its privacy promises during its 2014 acquisition of the messenger app WhatsApp. It's also about half of what the Spanish data protection authorities previous year extracted from to the firm for privacy failings.

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