Thursday, 19 July, 2018


Facebook Slapped With £500,000 Fine for Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Bennie Garza | 12 July, 2018, 03:39

The Information Commissioner's Office will bring a criminal suit against Cambridge Analytica's parent company SCL Elections Limited.

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.

The Leave.EU campaign, which pushed for the U.K.to leave the EU in the Brexit referendum, is also being investigated for exploiting personal data that people had given to a company for insurance purposes.

Without detailing how the information may have been used, it said the company had "failed to be transparent about how people's data was harvested by others".

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 led to few lasting repercussions.

"My initial thinking was because the breach happened before GDPR there was no way that there would be a significant enough punishment for Facebook", Taylor said.

"It shows the scale of the problem and that we are doing the right thing with our new data protection rules", she said.

"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 USA and other countries", he added.

"This can not by left to a secret internal investigation at Facebook".

Denham also called for the government to introduce a statutory code of practice for the use of personal data in political campaigns, adding that "this can not be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law". "People can not have control over their own data if they don't know or understand how it is being used".

Cambridge Analytica got the data of tens of millions of Facebook users from an academic who scraped the information with a personality quiz app. Facebook changed the policies that allowed this scraping in 2015, and told Cambridge Analytica to delete the data in the same year.

"Engagement with the electorate is vital to the democratic process; it is therefore understandable that political campaigns are exploring the potential of advanced data analysis tools to help win votes".

Facebook could face a hefty compensation bill in Australia after a leading litigation funder lodged a complaint with the country's privacy regulator over users' personal data shared with a British political consultancy.

Facebook will have the opportunity to respond to the commissioner before a final decision is made, something the company said it would do soon.

It said it would work with Slattery Lawyers to investigate whether the claim for compensation was possible.

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