United Kingdom watchdog ICO fines Facebook £500,000 over Cambridge Analytica

Compensation sought for Australians caught up in Facebook privacy breach

The tech giant is accused of not properly protecting user data and not sharing how people's data was harvested by others.

The regulator says Facebook broke the law, breaching the UK Data Protection Act twice.

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.

Collins said Wednesday that the social media giant "should now make the results of their internal investigations known to the ICO, our committee and other relevant investigatory authorities".

Facebook said the company illicitly gained access to personal information of up to 87 million users via an academic intermediary, although the firm said the number was much smaller than that.

Facebook will get a chance to respond to the proposed penalties before the ICO releases a final decision.

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Her office is leading the European investigations into how such an amount of data - most belonging to U.S. and United Kingdom residents, she says - could have ended up in the hands of a consulting firm that worked on Donald Trump's USA presidential campaign.

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... According to former Cambridge Analytica data scientist Christopher Wylie, a whistleblower, the firm aimed to construct psychographic profiles it could use to sway the votes of susceptible individuals.

In a roughly 40-page report, British regulators faulted Facebook for allowing Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan to build an app that collected data about Facebook users as well as their friends on behalf of Cambridge Analytica.

The report also initiates the prosecution of SCL Elections Ltd, which is Cambridge Analytica's parent company, "for failing to properly deal with the ICO's Enforcement Notice". "But this can not be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law". It has also sent "warning letters" to 11 political parties in the UK.

That's why greater and genuine transparency about the use of data analytics is vital'. "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", Denham said.

ICO, which does not normally publish its findings, said it would give the public another update on its investigation in October. 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.

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