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Facebook fined £500,000 over data breach

  • Facebook is to be hit with a maximum fine of £500,000 over data protection breaches, as a result of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. 

    This is the maximum amount allowed under the Data Protection Act of 1998.

    The UK's Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, as well as European authorities had launched their investigations in search of evidence of any breaches back in March.

    Facebook had came under fire for failing to correctly inform users of the social media network that their personal data may have been gathered and stored by Cambridge Analytica.

    It is estimated that 87 million users were affected as a result, according to the Information Commissioner’s Office.  

    “We are at a crossroads. 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,” Elizabeth Denham said.

    “New technologies that use data analytics to micro-target people give campaign groups the ability to connect with individual voters. But this cannot be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law.”

    In response, Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer said: "As we have said before, we should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015.

    "We have been working closely with the Information Commissioner's Office in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the US and other countries."

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