Facebook to be fined £500,000 over data breaches

11 Juillet, 2018, 14:16 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Daniel Leal-olivas  AFP  Getty Images

"It also found that the company failed to be transparent about how people's data was harvested by others".

The Information Commissioner's Office, a privacy and data watchdog office in the United Kingdom, announced Tuesday that it would fine Facebook the maximum allowed penalty of $664,000 for what it said was improperly overlooked warning signs and for lacking overall privacy protections that could have prevented Cambridge Analytica from obtaining the sensitive data, The Washington Post reported.

Erin Egan, chief privacy officer at Facebook, said: "We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the USA and other countries".

"We are fully cooperating with the investigation now under way by the Australian Privacy Commissioner and will review any additional evidence that is made available when the UK Office of the Information Commissioner releases their report", the spokeswoman said.

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

Cambridge Analytica, a London firm financed by wealthy Republican donors, worked for the 2016 Trump campaign and for a while employed Steve Bannon, the Trump campaign CEO and later a White House adviser. However, because the abuse took place before the introduction of the EU's new General Data Protection Regulation, which allows fines of up to 4% of global annual revenues, the ICO is only able to fine Facebook £500,000 ($663,610, ) which is the limit under older British data protection law.

"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", she said.

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The scandal took place before new European Union data protection laws that allow much larger fines came into force. "But this can not be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law".

Mail.Ru told CNN it had not been contacted by Facebook about its investigation into the misuse of user data.

Since its entanglement with Cambridge Analytica became public, Facebook has pledged to review all third-party apps on the platform while introducing new transparency measures, including an online repository of all political ads that run on the site.

The ICO isn't just looking at Facebook and Cambridge Analytica-indeed, it folded this affair into a pre-existing investigation into the use of data analytics in political campaigns.

However, the Information Commissioner's report said other regulatory action would include a criminal prosecution against Cambridge Analytica's parent firm, SCL Elections, for failing to deal with the regulator's enforcement notice.

"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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