Published: Thu, July 12, 2018

Facebook Slapped With "Maximum" U.K. Fine For Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Facebook Slapped With

"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. That doesn't seem like much for companies whose revenues are measured in the billions, but it's the highest fine the ICO can issue under the UK's Data Protection Act 1998, which Facebook violated twice over.

Today's update "includes the ICO's intention to fine Facebook a maximum £500,000".Had the Cambridge Analytica scandal happened after the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation, the ICO could have hit the tech firm with a penalty up to £17m, or four per cent of global turnover.

The alleged offenses took place before the roll out of new European Union data protection laws that allow for much larger fines.

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Facebook said apps developed by the Russian technology conglomerate Mail.Ru Group, were being looked at as part of the company's wider investigation into the misuse of Facebook user data, CNN reported.

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

It later launched an investigation that included political parties, data analytics companies and major social media platforms. Her office is leading the European investigations into how such an amount of data-most belonging to USA and United Kingdom residents, she says-could have ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm that worked on Donald Trump's presidential campaign.


Facebook spent more money lobbying the U.S. federal government in the first quarter of this year than it ever has before: $3.3 million. The ICO said it was providing the interim report to help that inquiry.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's total compensation was worth $25.2 million in 2017-including $21.1 million in Facebook stock and the $2.7 million spent on personal security.

Analysts expect Facebook to make $22.6 billion in profit this year, according to FactSet.

"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.

The next phase of the ICO's work is expected to be concluded by the end of October.

It said it was investigating both leave and remain campaigners in the referendum, and that it had issued an enforcement notice for AIQ, a data firm that worked for official Brexit campaign Vote Leave, to stop processing retained data from British citizens.

David Carroll, an academic who is attempting to recover his data from Cambridge Analytica, said the report strengthened his legal challenge.

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