Facebook to be fined £500,000 over data breaches

Compensation sought for Australians caught up in Facebook privacy breach

Compensation sought for Australians caught up in Facebook privacy breach

The proposed fine is the largest issued by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and the maximum allowed under the 1998 Data Protection Act, which applied at the time of the breaches.

Cambridge Analytica got the data of tens of millions of Facebook users from an academic who scraped the information with a personality quiz app. Facebook changed the policies that allowed this scraping in 2015, and told Cambridge Analytica to delete the data in the same year.

Facebook has been fined £500,000 by an information watchdog but it would take them less than 18 minutes to pay it off.

"It shows the scale of the problem and that we are doing the right thing with our new data protection rules", she said. "We are fully cooperating with the investigation now underway 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", a Facebook spokesperson said.

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said Facebook had broken the law by failing to safeguard people's information and had not been transparent about how data was harvested by others on its platform. This initial report blossomed into multiple complaints about how Facebook controls the user data gathered by other companies, how much data Facebook itself stores and more.

Apart from Facebook, the probe is also covering more companies and there are plans to send warning letters to 11 political parties.

Her office is leading the European investigations into how such an amount of data - most belonging to United States and UK residents, she says - could have ended up in the hands of a consulting firm that worked on Donald Trump's USA presidential campaign. "Trust and confidence in the integrity of our democratic processes risk being disrupted because the average voter has little idea of what is going on behind the scenes", Denham said. A group of industry executives met with France's President Emmanuel Macron to discuss how to use technology to improve people's lives.

Mr Collins said his own committee will publish its interim report about disinformation and data use in political campaigns later this month. The British agency said Facebook may have had a "missed opportunity" in 2014 to have thwarted Kogan's activities on the site.

"This can not by left to a secret internal investigation at Facebook".

Facebook is able to respond to the commissioner before the fine is applied. The U.K.'s investigation found "evidence that copies of the data/parts of it also seem to have been shared with other parties and on other systems beyond", which "potentially brings into question the accuracy" of Cambridge Analytica's assertion that it wiped the data from its stores.