Facebook fined Sh66.8 million over Cambridge data harvesting row

Lester Mason
July 12, 2018

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.

Facebook has been warned that it could have faced much sterner punishment from United Kingdom watchdogs for its part in the Cambridge Analaytica data breach scandal.

Social networking giant Facebook has been issued with a provisional fine of £500,000 - the maximum permissible under current law - by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), over the company's part in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. "It also found that the company failed to be transparent about how people's data was harvested by others".

Data protection lawyer Sean Humber from British law firm Leigh Day said users whose data was harvested have good claims for compensation against 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".

'We are at a crossroads.

The report sets out regulatory action taken against a number of the star players in this year's data scandal, including a criminal prosecution against Cambridge Analytica's parent biz SCL Elections Ltd - which has since folded, in name at least - for failing to properly deal with the ICO's enforcement notice.

Facebook "will get a chance to respond to the proposed penalties before the ICO releases a final decision", Bloomberg reports. The company has said it plans to do so "soon".


Cambridge Analytica has maintained that none of the data obtained without the knowledge of Facebook users was shared with or used for the purposes of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

"Facebook should now make the results of their internal investigations known to the ICO, our committee and other relevant investigatory authorities".

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement to CNN that Facebook's relationship with Mail.Ru deserved further scrutiny. Facebook and whistleblower Chris Wylie give their responses.

More recent developments could leave Facebook on the hook for significantly more if this happens again.

"If other developers broke the law we have a right to know, and the users whose data may have been compromised in this way should be informed".

The sum is a record penalty imposed by the UK's data watchdog, but by Facebook's standards, it was chump change.

Last month, Facebook's director of privacy policy, Steve Satterfield, told a European parliament hearing that the company believed no users in the European Union were affected in the Cambridge Analytica breach.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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