Facebook fined £500,000 over Cambridge Analytica scandal

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionJULY 2018 Ms Denham warns Facebook

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionJULY 2018 Ms Denham warns Facebook

While Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has been grilled by European Union and United States legislators over the scandal, he has so far refused to appear in front of UK MPs to account for Facebook's actions.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has handed the social media giant the penalty for processing people's data without their consent, as well as failing to keep that data secure.

British regulators on Thursday slapped Facebook with a fine of 500,000 pounds ($644,000) - the maximum possible - for failing to protect the privacy of its users in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. For context, Facebook's overall revenue was $40 billion (£31 billion) past year according to Statista. ICO announced in July that it planned to levy the maximum £500,000 fine against Facebook over the scandal; now it's actually issued that fine.

The fine was the maximum allowed under the law at the time the breach occurred. 'A company of its size and expertise should have known better and it should have done better, ' said Elizabeth Denham, the UK's Information Commissioner. Denham said the penalty would have been much higher had Europe's GDPR rules been in force.

'This should act as a wakeup call to every organisation that if they are caught breaching GDPR they could face fines that will severely damage their business. GDPR allows data watchdogs to fine companies up to 4% of their global turnover, which in Facebook's case would be $1.6 billion.

Researcher Dr Aleksandr Kogan and his company GSR used a personality quiz to harvest the Facebook data of up to 87 million people.

The fine is a pittance for Facebook, less than an 80th of its daily profit in the second quarter.

Virat Kohli becomes fastest to 10000 runs, Anushka Sharma can't keep calm
The crowd favourite, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, walked in to a rousing reception and was bowled by McCoy, his maiden wicket, for 20. Kohli, who will turn 30 next month, was dropped on 44 by West Indies captain Jason Holder off debutant seamer Obed McCoy.

"We are now reviewing the ICO's decision".

The ICO's 27-page penalty notice can be read here.

"While we respectfully disagree with some of their findings, we have said before that we should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and taken action in 2015", it said in a statement.

"We are grateful that the ICO has acknowledged our full cooperation throughout their investigation".

The ICO said a subset of the data was later shared with other organisations, including SCL Group, the parent company of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

"Even after the misuse of the data was discovered in December 2015, Facebook did not do enough to ensure those who continued to hold it had taken adequate and timely remedial action, including deletion", the ICO said.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.