Facebook slapped with six-figure fine in United Kingdom over Cambridge Analytica breach

Compensation sought for Australians caught up in Facebook privacy breach

Compensation sought for Australians caught up in Facebook privacy breach

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.

Collins said Wednesday that the social media giant "should now make the results of their internal investigations known to the ICO, our committee and other relevant investigatory authorities".

In a roughly 40-page report, British regulators faulted Facebook for allowing Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan to build an app that collected data about Facebook users as well as their friends on behalf of Cambridge Analytica. However, because the abuse took place before the introduction of the EU's new General Data Protection Regulation, which allows fines of up to 4% of global annual revenues, the ICO is only able to fine Facebook £500,000 ($663,610, ) which is the limit under older British data protection law.

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United Kingdom investigators also questioned whether Facebook failed to maintain adequate safeguards to ensure other third-party app developers had not misused social data. The ICO said it was providing the interim report to help that inquiry.

"The complaint seeks financial recompense for the unauthorised access to, and use of, their personal data".

Facebook has admitted the scandal - in which the personal information of 87million people was harvested by a quiz app and sold to a political campaign agency - was "clearly a breach of trust". This is the maximum fine the Information Commissioner's Office can impose, BBC reported on Wednesday.

Facebook now has the chance to respond to the commissioner's notice of intent, after which a final decision will be made.

Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by Donald Trump in 2016, has denied its work on the USA president's successful election campaign made use of data.

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".

It has also said that, while it pitched for work with campaign group Leave.EU ahead of the Brexit referendum in Britain in 2016, it did not end up doing any work on the campaign.

The Information Commissioner's Office announced the fine as it revealed it was preparing a criminal prosecution against Cambridge Analytica's parent company, SCL Elections Ltd.

"We must change this fast as no-one should win elections using illegally obtained data", she said, adding: "We will now assess what can we do at the European Union level to make political advertising more transparent and our elections more secure".

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