Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

British regulator to fine Facebook over data protection breaches

British regulator to fine Facebook over data protection breaches

The proposed fine is the largest issued by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and the maximum allowed under the 1998 Data Protection Act, which applied at the time of the breaches.

Facebook is to be hit with the maximum £500,000 ($663,000) fine over data protection breaches related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

"We are at a crossroads".

IMF Bentham said it had partnered with law firm Johnson Winter & Slattery to lodge the complaint with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

Former Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix REUTERS/Henry Nicholls Facebook has a chance to respond to the ICO before a final decision is made on the fine.

In an emailed statement, Facebook chief privacy officer Erin Egan said: "As we have said before, we should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015". The U.K.'s investigation found "evidence that copies of the data/parts of it also seem to have been shared with other parties and on other systems beyond", which "potentially brings into question the accuracy" of Cambridge Analytica's assertion that it wiped the data from its stores.

Facebook has said it will be reviewing the report and responding to the ICO soon.

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Because the breaches in the scope of the ICO's inquiry occurred in 2013-2014, Facebook escaped a fine of up to 4 per cent of turnover, equivalent to more than £1.2 billion, that could have applied under the general data protection regulation (GDPR), which came into force on...

Facebook's annual revenue in 2017 was almost $40 billion, translating to a much higher possible fine of $1.6 billion.

The Facebook probe is part of a wider investigation into the use of data in political campaigns, which the ICO launched past year, the interim results of which are out today. Facebook banned the company earlier this year, saying it had improperly received as many as 87 million user profiles leaked from its service.

Cambridge Analytica used data from millions of Facebook accounts to help Donald Trump's 2016 presidential election campaign.

"The company has consistently failed to answer the questions from our committee as to who at Facebook was informed about it".

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. But not all the data may have been deleted, according to some reports.

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