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British regulator to fine Facebook over data protection breaches
11 July 2018, 05:23 | Erica Roy
Facebook staring at Australian class action - Security
The fine - the maximum amount allowed - comes after revelations that as many as 87 millionFacebook users had their data improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica, a digital consultancy with ties to the Trump campaign.
The U.K.'s Information Commissioner's Office, an independent data watchdog, intends to slap Facebook with a 500,000-pound fine, or about $660,000, for two breaches of the country's Data Protection Act.
So British political parties also got a warning in Wednesday's broadside, regarding the way they buy marketing lists and "lifestyle information" from data brokers, in order to find out how to better influence people.
If the data leak would had taken place after the new GDPR rules which came into action on May 25, the fine levied could have been much higher. "We're reviewing the report and will respond to the ICO soon".
The information was gathered through an app that paid users to take a personality test but that also harvested details about their Facebook friends.
"We have been working closely with the Information Commissioner's Office in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the USA and other countries", he added. This is the maximum fine the Information Commissioner's Office can impose, BBCreported on Wednesday. Facebook will have an opportunity to respond to the findings, after which the office will render a final judgment.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has faced questioning by US and European Union lawmakers over how Cambridge Analytica improperly got hold of the personal data of 87 million Facebook users from a researcher.
"The complaint seeks financial recompense for the unauthorised access to, and use of, their personal data".
In its statement, IMF Bentham said it appeared Facebook learned of the breach in late 2015, but failed to tell users about it until this year.
Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner, wrote in her accompanying report that Facebook should have done more to explain to its users why they were targeted for specific political advertisements or messaging. "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.
The survey results were allegedly used by election consultants Cambridge Analytica to target voters in United States elections, including Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
It said it would work with Slattery Lawyers to investigate whether the claim for compensation was possible.
"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.
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