Facebook slapped with fine over Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal

Facebook slapped with fine over Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal

The UK's data protection watchdog said the social media giant has failed to ensure Cambridge Analytica had deleted users' data.

"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.

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...

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

It said it was investigating both leave and remain campaigners in the referendum, and that it had issued an enforcement notice for AIQ, a data firm that worked for official Brexit campaign Vote Leave, to stop processing retained data from British citizens. In an accompanying report, Elizabeth Denham, the United Kingdom information commissioner, expressed unease with the "significant shortfall in transparency" from tech companies, political parties and others that harness sensitive bits of information online.

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.

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Facebook now has the chance to respond to the commissioner's notice of intent, after which a final decision will be made.

Denham claims Facebook broke the law by not being able to protect people's information and hadn't been open about how data was harvested from their platform.

She added: "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. But this can not be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law", she said in a statement. The amount is the maximum that the agency, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), can levy for violation of Britain's data-privacy laws.

The ICO launched an investigation in March into Cambridge Analytica, the UK-based political data analysis firm at the heart of a scandal that's stirred up two national governments and the world's largest social network.

ICO, which does not normally publish its findings, said it would give the public another update on its investigation in October. However, it did so today because a parliamentary committee is also probing the issue of Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and political influence, and the ICO wanted to help inform the committee's work.

"We must change this fast as no-one should win elections using illegally obtained data", she said, adding: "We will now assess what can we do at the European Union level to make political advertising more transparent and our elections more secure".

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