Facebook slapped with fine over Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal

12 July, 2018, 23:25 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Daniel Leal-olivas  AFP  Getty Images

The revelations that data belonging to as many as 87 million Facebook users and their friends may have been misused is a "game changer" in the world of data protection, Denham said. A group of industry executives met with France's President Emmanuel Macron to discuss how to use technology to improve people's lives.

Charity Privacy International said that regulators were getting tougher on Facebook. 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.

The U.K.'s probe adopted a wide lens, focusing not only on Facebook but the ecosystem of players - totaling 172 organizations and 285 individuals - involved in the collection and sale of data about web users for political purposes.

Facebook is facing its first financial penalty for allowing the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica to forage through the personal data of millions of unknowing Facebook users.

Among the main areas of concern are that parties buy up marketing lists and lifestyle information from data brokers without proper due diligence and fail to check consents when using third party data analytics companies.

Facebook is able to respond to the commissioner before the fine is applied.

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In Facebook's case this would amount to around US$1.6 billion (€1.4 billion).

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.

If you calculate Facebook's estimated revenue for a period of just 7 minutes, it'll turn out to be around $665,000. "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", said the information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham. Facebook is now facing inquiries by the U.S. Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

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

"Facebook should now make the results of their internal investigations known to the ICO, our committee and other relevant investigatory authorities". The ICO said it was providing the interim report to help that inquiry.

Last year, antitrust regulators in the European Union slapped Facebook with a $122 million fine. The office finds that Facebook lacked the privacy protections necessary to catch Cambridge Analytica before it was too late.

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