Facebook fined £500,000 over Cambridge Analytica scandal

By , in EDITORIAL on .

The UK information commissioner’s office has issued Facebook with a £500,000 ($645,155) fine for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. This is the maximum amount of fine, the office has authority to impose.

The ICO fined the social media giant for processing the people’s data without their consent. Third-party apps accessed the personal data of tens of millions of Facebook users between 2007 and 2014. The company had failed to protect the personal information of its users.

“Facebook failed to sufficiently protect the privacy of its users before, during and after the unlawful processing of this data,”said Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner.

She also added that a company of this size with expertise should have done better to ensure data protection of its users.

Facebook commented that it was “reviewing” the decision.

“While we respectfully disagree with some of their findings, we have said before that we should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and taken action in 2015,” a statement issued by Facebook reads.

Earlier this year, it was found Aleksandr Kogan under his company GSR used a personality quiz on Facebook to extract data of up to 87 million people. Some of the extracted data was shared with Cambridge Analytica which used that data to influence the results of the 2016 US presidential election.

It is believed that at least one million UK users’ data was siphoned off. The commission also learned that Facebook had no means to keep a check on which apps were linked to its platform.

The head of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, and Kogan were tried by MPs over their actions. The co-founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg has so far refused to appear before them. He had always sent subordinates in his place.

The privacy breach comes under the Data Protection Act 1998, which was replaced in May.

The commission said that as the contraventions were s serious they imposed the maximum fine under the previous legislation.