Facebook has decided to pay a fine of £500,000 ($643,000) imposed by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (IOC) for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
While the IOC publicized to fine the social network last year in July 2018, the fine ends more than a year of litigation between the regulator and Facebook.
A success for the #ICO this week as Facebook agrees to pay the £500,000 fine for its role in the Cambridge Analytica incident. More fines to be expected as a result of non-compliance with #GDPR, need assistance with GDPR? We offer a range of services: https://t.co/VBMYuBBPCG pic.twitter.com/8jwX5JAikp
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James Dipple-Johnstone, the deputy commissioner of the ICO, said:
“The ICO’s main concern was that UK citizen data was exposed to a serious risk of harm. Protection of personal information and personal privacy is of fundamental importance, not only for the rights of individuals, but also as we now know, for the preservation of a strong democracy.
We are pleased to hear that Facebook has taken, and will continue to take, significant steps to comply with the fundamental principles of data protection. With this strong commitment to protecting people’s personal information and privacy, we expect that Facebook will be able to move forward and learn from the events of this case.”
Under the terms of the settlement, Facebook has made no admission of liability. The company has also been allowed to retain the documents disclosed by the ICO, in part because they may help it in its own investigation into the issues around Cambridge Analytica. That investigation had been paused at the ICO’s request.
Harry Kinmonth, a lawyer representing Facebook, said:
“We are pleased to have reached a settlement with the ICO. As we have said before, we wish we had done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica in 2015. We made major changes to our platform back then, significantly restricting the information which app developers could access. Protecting people’s information and privacy is a top priority for Facebook, and we are continuing to build new controls to help people protect and manage their information.”
Last year was a bad year for Facebook. The social media giant got in hot waters following reports that Cambridge Analytica accessed users’ personal data without their consent. Users, regulators, and investors criticized Facebook not having the necessary measures in place.
As always, Facebook responded with ‘we are sorry, we need to do better’. In response, Facebook users started deleting their social accounts to defend what’s left of their online data and to demonstrate protest against the monopolistic social giant. There was a massive campaign for deleting Facebook accounts with the hashtag #DeleteFacebook
As the election season begins, Facebook is again being criticized for regulating political ads on its social platform. Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren has run been deliberately running misleading ads to protest the company’s policies. He argues that CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have both endorsed President Trump’s 2020 campaign.
This clearly shows that we might see political ads on our Newsfeed similar to the ones back in the U.S. Elections 2016. That’s not it, in September, another Facebook scandal took place where 419 million user’s phone numbers were exposed.