Saturday, 18 August, 2018

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

Compensation sought for Australians caught up in Facebook privacy breach Facebook staring at Australian class action - Security
Steven Clarke | 12 July, 2018, 03:29

The U.K. Information Commissioner's Office is threatening the company with the maximum penalty allowed under the old data laws that applied at the time of the alleged wrongdoing.

ICO also called for an "ethical pause" of microtargeting ad tools to "allow the key players - government, parliament, regulators, political parties, online platforms and citizens - to reflect on their responsibilities in respect of the use of personal information in the era of big data before there is a greater expansion in the use of new technologies".

In May, the European Union launched stricter data protection laws allowing regulators to fine companies up to €20 million or 4 percent of their annual global turnover. The tech giant is accused of not properly protecting user data and not disclosing properly how people's data was harvested by others.

It therefore will take the firm just over 15 minutes to make the money necessary to pay the fine.

She said: "We are at a crossroads".

Facebook's annual revenue in 2017 was almost $40 billion, translating to a much higher possible fine of $1.6 billion. The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly investigating whether Facebook's approach to sharing user information violated a 2011 legal agreement that could in theory result in massive fines, though its historic approach to the issue suggests it is more likely to issue a relative slap on the wrist.

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Other regulatory action set out in the report includes warning letters to 11 political parties and notices compelling them to agree to audits of their data protection practices.

Earlier this year, the world's largest social networking platform admitted to enabling third-party companies have access to personal data of over 87 million of its users.

The Facebook probe is part of a wider investigation into the use of data in political campaigns, which the ICO launched past year, the interim results of which are out today. She added: '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. Facebook initially said the scandal affected about 310,000 Australians in total. "We have been working closely with the Information Commissioner's Office in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the United States and other countries." .

British politicians are now calling on Facebook to be more transparent about its internal investigation into data misuse.

Consider the £500,000 fine more like the beginning of companies like Facebook's woes, not lawmakers' final solutions.

"Facebook users will be rightly concerned that the company left their data far too vulnerable to being collected without their consent by developers working on behalf of companies like Cambridge Analytica".

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