Facebook Gets First Fine of £500,000 as It Failed to Be Transparent

After all the noise and headache, Facebook is finally (about to be) fined – in the U.K at least, where the company has to pay £500,000 ($664,000). The decision comes after the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) concluded the social network has broken the law.

Facebook Gets Its First Fine Following Cambridge Analytica

This is Facebook’s first actual fine after the Cambridge Analytica broke. As for the amount of the fine – £500,000 is the maximum sum allowed by the U.K.’s Data Protection Act 1998. As a comparison, the fine equals Facebook’s earning every 8 minutes.

The U.K.’s ICO launched an investigation in March this year said that Facebook failed to protect users’ data and as a result it fell into the hands of Cambridge Analytica.

Several months ago, a whistleblower revealed that Cambridge Analytica used personal information taken without any authorization in the beginning of 2014. This information was used to profile individual US voters and target them with personalized political ads.

The whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, partnered with a Cambridge University academic to gather the data. This is what he said in a conversation with the Observer:

We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles. And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons. That was the basis the entire company was built on.

What is worse is that Facebook found out about the information exploit… and did nothing to alert its users. The company “took limited steps to recover and secure the private information of more than 50 million individuals”.

As for the ICO’s decision to fine Facebook, Britain’s privacy watchdog also concluded that the social network failed to be transparent about the (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from How to, Technology and PC Security Forum | SensorsTechForum.com authored by Milena Dimitrova. Read the original post at: https://sensorstechforum.com/facebook-first-fine-500000/