UK Watchdog imposes £500,000 penalty on Facebook


UK’s data Watchdog has imposed a penalty of £500,000 pounds on Facebook for fraudulently handing over the personal information of its American users to Cambridge Analytica in 2015. Henceforth the said sum happens to be the largest possible fine imposed by Britain’s Information Commission on any private company till date.

The press statement released by the Information Commissioner’s Office(ICO) yesterday says that a criminal prosecution will also be slapped against SCL Elections LTD which owns the defunct Cambridge Analytica now.

Alongside 11 political parties who have taken the help Cambridge Analytica including purchase of marketing lists and lifestyle info to help target voters will also receive the summons by this weekend.

Currently, the ICO is still investigating on the issue of whether Facebook users list was used to influence the EU referendum and in the 2016 US Presidential Elections.

United States CIA and FBI have been asked to submit a report on this issue by this month end. And if possible some of the staff members from the Trump administration will also be questioned about this issue.

Early this year, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted that data related to his company’s 87 million American users were harvested by a quiz app and the results were sold to a political campaigning agency. As a result of his disclosure, his company has been penalized with a fine of 500 million pounds as an initial penalty.

According to Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, the penalty amount could increase when the ongoing investigation throws light on more facts. However, she ruled out any ‘imprisonment sentencing’ possibility on the founder of Facebook i.e. Mark Zuckerberg.

Tory MP Damian Collins, the Chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee suggest that the penalty could turn harsher if Facebook fails to reveal the findings of its own investigations.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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