United Kingdom plans maximum fine for Facebook over data breach

But it would represent the first tangible punishment for the company's privacy scandal, which tarnished its reputation, temporarily pushed down its shares and forced CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress, but otherwise led to few lasting repercussions. The company has promised to introduce reforms to its policies before local elections in Britain next year. The UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) slapped Facebook with a fine for that amount this week, although for a company like Facebook this is just a pittance. The ICO wants parties to undergo compulsory audits of their use of personal data, including the purchase of marketing lists and lifestyle information to help target voters. "We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the U.S. and other countries", she said.

Facebook said it was reviewing the report and would respond soon.

Damian Collins, the chairman of the UK Parliament's media committee, said Wednesday that the company "should now make the results of their internal investigations known to the ICO, our committee and other relevant investigatory authorities".

United Kingdom investigators also questioned whether Facebook failed to maintain adequate safeguards to ensure other third-party app developers had not misused social data. It has been made a decision to fine Facebook £500,000, the maximum amount allowed, for failing to safeguard people's information and lack of transparency about how third parties harvested data on its platform. Facebook initially said the scandal affected about 310,000 Australians in total.

"Regulators have and are using their teeth".

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Because the breaches in the scope of the ICO's inquiry occurred in 2013-2014, Facebook escaped a fine of up to 4 per cent of turnover, equivalent to more than £1.2 billion, that could have applied under the general data protection regulation (GDPR), which came into force on... Facebook is now facing inquiries by the U.S. Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. The tech giant is accused of not properly protecting user data and not sharing how people's data was harvested by others.

ICO, which does not normally publish its findings, said it would give the public another update on its investigation in October.

The ICO also announced it proposes to bring criminal action against SCL Elections, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica (CA), for allegedly failing to comply with an enforcement notice and allow access to the data it held.

OAIC is conducting its own investigation into whether Facebook breached the Privacy Act, which obligates organisations to ensure customers are notified about the collection and handling of their personal information. Among the issues they are still probing is an assertion by Cambridge Analytica that it had deleted the data, after the social media giant requested it in 2015.

"Our day in British court may be within reach", he told Reuters in an email. "But if American voters can somehow recover and repatriate our complete voter profiles then democracies will have won the day against dark data".

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