Facebook Should Be Fined For ‘Contravening’ Law In Cambridge Analytica Leak, UK Watchdog Says

Facebook is predicted to obtain Britain’s most attainable superb for permitting Cambridge Analytica to improperly entry consumer information, its first penalty associated to the leak of tens of millions of customers’ private info.

The U.Okay.’s Information Commissioner’s Office, an impartial information watchdog, intends to slap Facebook with a 500,000-pound superb, or about $660,000, for 2 breaches of the nation’s Data Protection Act. The company mentioned Tuesday that the social media big “contravened the law by failing to safeguard people’s information. It also found that the company failed to be transparent about how people’s data was harvested by others.”

“New technologies that use data analytics to micro-target people give campaign groups the ability to connect with individual voters. But this cannot be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law,” ICO’s info commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, mentioned in an announcement. “Fines and prosecutions punish the bad actors, but my real goal is to effect change and restore trust and confidence in our democratic system.”

Facebook got here underneath hearth earlier this yr after media shops reported that Cambridge Analytica, a knowledge agency primarily based in London, had secretly harvested consumer information that it then used to try to manipulate public opinion. The agency had hyperlinks to Donald Trump’s presidential marketing campaign in 2016 and had been underneath investigation by ICO since May 2017.

Facebook subsequently went on a sweeping apology tour, and chief government Mark Zuckerberg appeared earlier than each Congress and members of European Parliament. The firm addressed ICO’s impending superb in an announcement on Tuesday:

“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 privateness officer, mentioned in an announcement despatched to HuffPost. “We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the US and other countries. We’re reviewing the report and will respond to the ICO soon.”

The New York Times notes that the U.Okay. watchdog’s superb is Facebook’s first penalty, however it could herald extra punitive motion towards the corporate. Facebook is presently dealing with inquiries by the U.S. Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

ICO, which doesn’t usually publish its findings, mentioned it might give the general public one other replace on its investigation in October.

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