Published: Wed, July 11, 2018

Fine imposed on Facebook over user privacy - United Kingdom lawmaker


The survey results were allegedly used by election consultants Cambridge Analytica to target voters in United States elections, including Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

However, Sky News notes that the £500,000 fine will be "pocket change" for a company valued past year at around $590bn (£445bn).

The ICO fine is a fraction of the amount the social media giant could have faced had a new EU law that gives residents of the European Union more control over their personal data been in affect when the data was shared.

"A significant finding of the ICO investigation is the conclusion that Facebook has not been sufficiently transparent to enable users to understand how and why they might be targeted by a political party or campaign", Denham wrote. "But this can not be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law", ICO's information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, said in a statement.

A statement from Facebooks chief privacy officer admitted that Facebook “should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015.” A 40 page report created by British regulators says that Facebook failed by allowing the parties involved with the University of Cambridge to build an app that collects data about Facebook users and their friends.

Former Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix REUTERS/Henry Nicholls Facebook has a chance to respond to the ICO before a final decision is made on the fine.


"It's an important moment for data protection", she added.

The ICO launched an investigation in March into Cambridge Analytica, the UK-based political data analysis firm at the heart of a scandal that's stirred up two national governments and the world's largest social network. "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". "But this can not be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law".

"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.

The penalty could be just the first in what might become several fines for Mark Zuckerberg as the Information Commissioner's.

The ICO said its investigation is continuing and the next phase is expected to be concluded by the end of October.

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