Facebook hit with first fine in Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal

Blanche Robertson
July 12, 2018

Under Australian law, all organizations must take "reasonable steps" to ensure personal information is held securely and IMF Bentham has teamed up with a major law firm to lodge a complaint with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIO). The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly investigating whether Facebook's approach to sharing user information violated a 2011 legal agreement that could in theory result in massive fines, though its historic approach to the issue suggests it is more likely to issue a relative slap on the wrist.

In the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook notified users who were affected by the data misuse with alerts at the tops of their news feeds.

Denham also called for the government to introduce a statutory code of practice for the use of personal data in political campaigns, adding that "this can not be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law".

"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.

Other regulatory action set out in the report includes warning letters to 11 political parties and notices compelling them to agree to audits of their data protection practices. The commissioner's office identified one of the companies, Emma's Diary, as being used by the British Labour Party, BBC said. The social giant permitted apps to collect this information until 2015, but the United Kingdom watchdog said Tuesday it was concerned that many people on the site "may not have been sufficiently informed that their data was accessible in this way". The British agency said Facebook may have had a "missed opportunity" in 2014 to have thwarted Kogan's activities on the site.

World Cup semi-final England v Croatia
And while he said his bar was likely to be full with Croatia and England fans, Mr Colgan won't be working, making sure he can enjoy the match.

Facebook admitted in April that as many as 87 million people could have had their data shared with Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct data firm used by the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

The Leave.EU campaign, which pushed for the U.K.to 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. "But this can not be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law", she said in a statement.

It later launched an investigation that included political parties, data analytics companies and major social media platforms.

Facebook, which gets to "make representations" to the ICO before the regulator finalizes the fine, had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.

The ICO said its investigation is continuing and the next phase is expected to be concluded by the end of October.

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