Facebook hit with United Kingdom fine over user privacy

Blanche Robertson
July 11, 2018

The chairman of the U.K. Parliament's media committee says the government office that investigated the Cambridge Analytica scandal has fined Facebook (FB) 500,000 pounds ($663,000) for failing to safeguard users' data.

"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 amount is the maximum allowed under the Data Protection Act 1998, but is pocket change for a company valued previous year at around $590bn (£445bn).

The scandal took place before new European Union data protection laws that allow much larger fines came into force.

A Facebook spokeswoman did not comment directly on Tuesday on IMF's statement but said the company was "fully co-operating with the investigation now underway by the Australian Privacy Commissioner", using the former name of the Information Commissioner.

The UK's data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office, has found the company lacking sufficient privacy protections and failing to catch third party companies like Cambridge Analytica misusing its users' data despite warnings.

Thousands of state employees fired in Turkey
About 1,052 people, including judicial candidates and civil servants were dismissed from the justice ministry. The Turkish government blamed groups linked to exiled preacher Fethullah Gulen for the failed coup attempt.

Cambridge Analytica has maintained that none of the data obtained without the knowledge of Facebook users was shared with or used for the purposes of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

She said: "We are at a crossroads".

"New technologies that use data analytics to micro-target people give campaign groups the ability to connect with individual voters".

"We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the United States and other countries", Facebook's chief privacy officer Erin Egan added in a statement reported by the Post.

The information commissioner closes most investigations in a year, so International Monetary Fund said it may be some time before it decides whether to pursue a lawsuit or not - with Landis adding it may wait for regulatory investigations in the European Union and Britain to conclude before making a move.

Facebook will have the opportunity to respond to the commissioner before a final decision is made, something the company said it would do soon.

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