Facebook faces United Kingdom fine over Cambridge Analytica scandal

Daniel Leal-olivas  AFP  Getty Images

Daniel Leal-olivas AFP Getty Images

"It's an important moment for data protection", she added.

The UK Information Commissioner's Office on Tuesday announced a preliminary fine of 500,000 pounds ($664,000) after finding the social-media giant had failed to protect user data and wasn't transparent about how the user data was obtained by others.

Cambridge Analytica, a London firm financed by wealthy Republican donors, worked for the 2016 Trump campaign and for a while employed Steve Bannon, the Trump campaign CEO and later a White House adviser.

The fines are based on laws governing the 2013-2014 period when the breaches occurred.

Facebook is facing a class action in Australia for allegedly breaching privacy laws over the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal.

But the ICO said because of the timing of the incidents involved in its inquiry, the penalties were limited to those available under previous legislation.

"The complaint seeks financial recompense for the unauthorised access to, and use of, their personal data".

According to CNN, before 2015, in some cases when Facebook users interacted with the apps built by third-party developers on the social media platform, the developer not only got data about that user, but also about the users' friends and what they "liked".

Polar fitness app leaks military personnel locations
Polar monitors heart rate, location , route, date and time of the training, the information can be shared on the social platform. What this is actually saying is that users have the option to mark their data as private via the user profile page in the app.

"As we have said before, we should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015", Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer, said in a statement sent to HuffPost. "We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the U.S. and other countries".

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". These include sending out 11 warning letters to political parties in the United Kingdom, "compelling them to agree to audits of their data protection practices".

In a statement, Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: "New technologies that use data analytics to micro-target people give campaign groups the ability to connect with individual voters".

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.

"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".

The interim progress report has been produced to inform the work of the Department for Culture Media and Sport's (DCMS) select committee into fake news.

Latest News