Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Watchdog urges record £500000 fine for Facebook over Cambridge Analytica data scandal

Image Credit Alexandra Popova  Shutterstock Image Credit Alexandra Popova Shutterstock
Steven Clarke | 11 July, 2018, 10:27

The chairman of the U.K. Parliament's media committee says the government office that investigated the Cambridge Analytica scandal has fined Facebook 500,000 pounds ($663,000) for failing to safeguard users' data.

But it would represent the first tangible punishment for the company's privacy scandal, which tarnished its reputation, temporarily pushed down its shares and forced CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress, but otherwise had few lasting repercussions. "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.

Cambridge Analytica has maintained that none of the data obtained without the knowledge of Facebook users was shared with or used for the purposes of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

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 United States election.

A Facebook spokeswoman said the company was cooperating fully with an investigation by Australia's privacy commissioner.

In a statement, Facebook responded to the findings by acknowledging it "should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015".

Category 1 Hurricane Chris Moves Northeastward
Eye formation is typically an indication of winds reaching the minimum hurricane threshold at 74 miles per hour . An Air Force Reserve Reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to fly over Chris Tuesday afternoon.

The watchdog also plans to bring criminal charges against Cambridge Analytica's defunct parent company SCL Elections.

Facebook faces a £500,000 ($665,000) fine from the UK's data protection watchdog, the ICO, for failing to protect netizens' info nor tell them how their data would be harvested by apps. "We're reviewing the report and will respond to the ICO soon".

"This can not by left to a secret internal investigation at Facebook".

The ICO is also investigating 29 other social media companies, political campaigns, parties and other commercial actors over their roles in the European Union referendum.

As such it has served Facebook with a notice of intent to fine the biz, and if the sum is coughed up by the web giant as expected, it will be the biggest fine issued by the ICO.

"The number of Facebook users affected by this kind of data scraping may be far greater than has now been acknowledged". Facebook also received a minor fine of $164,000 from French regulators for failing to meet the country's data protection rules.

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