Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Britain to fine Facebook over data breach

Britain to fine Facebook over data breach

The British fine to hit Facebook comes as the social media company is also confronted with a hefty compensation bill in Australia where litigation funder IMF Bentham said it had lodged a complaint with regulators over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The accusations made by the Commissioner's office pertain to not protecting user data properly and not making clear how the user data was shared with others, according to The Washington Post.

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

In the US, Facebook's role in the scandal - including whether it withheld information on Cambridge Analytica's data-harvesting operations and their response from investors, investigators, and members of Congress - has attracted the attention of at least four federal agencies.

The fine is the maximum allowed under Britain's old data protection law, although that was replaced by the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May, where companies can be fined up to 4 percent of revenue for breaches.

The Leave.EU campaign, which pushed for the leave the EU in the Brexit referendum, is also being investigated for exploiting personal data that people had given to a company for insurance purposes. "People can not have control over their own data if they don't know or understand how it is being used". The ICO said it was providing the interim report to help that inquiry.

The sum is barely even a slap on the wrist for Facebook, which had revenues of more than $40 billion in 2017, but is the maximum possible under the applicable legislation.

"This can not by left to a secret internal investigation at Facebook". The office finds that Facebook lacked the privacy protections necessary to catch Cambridge Analytica before it was too late. Her office is leading the European investigations into how such an amount of data - most belonging to United States and UK residents, she says - could have ended up in the hands of a consulting firm that worked on Donald Trump's U.S. presidential campaign.

"The alleged breaches surround the circumstances in which a third party, Cambridge Analytica, gained unauthorized access to users' profiles and information".

"The company has consistently failed to answer the questions from our committee as to who at Facebook was informed about it". Among the issues they are still probing is an assertion by Cambridge Analytica that it had deleted the data, after the social media giant requested it in 2015. A group of industry executives met with France's President Emmanuel Macron to discuss how to use technology to improve people's lives. "That's why greater and genuine transparency about the use of data analytics is vital".

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