Facebook respond to facing £500k fine over Cambridge Analytica scandal


It has also said that, while it pitched for work with campaign group Leave.EU before the Brexit referendum in Britain in 2016, it did not end up doing any work on the campaign.

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova welcomed the ICO report.

Facebook broke the law by failing to safeguard people's data and not being transparent about how that data could be harvested, said Ms Denham.

"Facebook has failed to provide the protections required under data protection laws", Denham told reporters before the announcement, according to Politico.

The scandal centered on Cambridge Analytica's abuse of Facebook's wishy-washy data sharing rules for harvesting information from 50 million people. The firm had links to Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016 and had been under investigation by ICO since May 2017.

"We are fully cooperating with the investigation now under way by the Australian Privacy Commissioner and will review any additional evidence that is made available when the UK Office of the Information Commissioner releases their report", the spokeswoman said.

The Information Commissioner's Office, a data watchdog in the United Kingdom, has slapped the maximum fine they can give onto Facebook for that whole Cambridge Analytica scandal a few months ago.

In a statement the company said it had lodged a representative complaint with the Office of the Australia Information Commissioner (OAIC) that seeks compensation for "alleged breaches of the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1998".

The company said it would fund the complaint made to the Australian Information Commissioner against Facebook Australia, Facebook Inc and Facebook Ireland.

The ICO has neatly ducked the issue, pointing out that since the offences were uncovered in March, they can not come under the purview of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation which levies much higher fines for this kind of nefarious activity.

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"Privacy law is a developing space, and it's one in which there is very little precedent to rely on".

Why won't Facebook be fined more?

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

Despite the proposed fine being a record for the watchdog, campaigners said it was "unacceptable", as under new data laws the penalty could have totalled more than £450 million.

Facebook faces mounting scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators concerned about its handling user data and how a Russian operation with ties to the Kremlin exploited the platform to foment discord in the lead-up to the 2016 USA presidential election. Any decisions here could lead to a maximum fine of 300,000 euros, he said.

Facebook came under fire earlier this year after media outlets reported that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm based in London, had secretly harvested user data that it then used to try and manipulate public opinion. And they will concerns for purchase personal information from "data intermediaries" to political parties. Enforcement notices are planned against Cambridge Analytica affiliate company SCL Elections and Canadian company Aggregate IQ, all of which worked closely together.

Tory MP Damian Collins, the chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said Facebook should reveal the findings of its own investigations.

Britain's data regulator has said it will fine Facebook half a million pounds ($660,000) for failing to protect users' data, in an inquiry into whether personal information had been misused by campaigns on both sides of Britain's 2016 European Union referendum.

"This can not by left to a secret internal investigation at Facebook".