21 January 2019
Facebook which has been facing criticism for user data breaches in has been fined £500,000, the maximum possible fine in Britain.
Political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica collected information from millions of people without their consent from Facebook. This news was revealed last year and led to much debate about users privacy and data protection on the social networking site. The £500,000 penalty is the highest amount that can be levied by the British Information Commissioner’s Office, which is an independent government agency that implements the country’s data-protection laws.
The agency which has been investigating the potential misuse of personal data by political campaigns since May 2017 which it was found that Facebook gave up the data of over 87 million users without their permission.
“Facebook has failed to provide the kind of protections they are required to under the Data Protection Act,” said Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner. “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’s chief privacy Officer, Erin Egan, said of the intent to fine: “As we have said before, we should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015. 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.”