Facebook to be fined $871,000 after letting Cambridge Analytica mine users’ data

11 Juillet, 2018, 10:26 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau

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.

The UK's information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, said she would fine the social network as her office investigates how the data of tens of millions of users was improperly accessed. "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.

The London-based firm worked for Donald Trump's campaign team in the 2016 USA presidential election and used the data to build a software program to predict and try to influence votes.

She said: "We are at a crossroads".

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.

The alleged offenses took place before the roll out of new European Union data protection laws that allow for much larger fines.

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Facebook broke the law by failing to safeguard people's data and not being transparent about how that data could be harvested, said Ms Denham. "We're reviewing the report and will respond to the ICO soon".

Facebook's Egan referred to the numerous investigations involving the company.

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.

"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", Facebook's chief privacy officer Erin Egan added in a statement reported by the Post.

The decision was welcomed by former Cambridge Analytica employee and whistleblower Christopher Wylie. Among the issues they are still probing is an assertion by Cambridge Analytica that it had deleted the data, after the social media giant requested it in 2015.

Facebook will be put under more scrutiny by United Kingdom regulators involving “evidence that copies of the data/parts of it also seem to have been share with other parties and on other systems beyond” despite Cambridge Analyticas declaration that it had wiped all the data that it was asked to.

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