Facebook agrees to pay £500,000 fine over Cambridge Analytica scandal
Facebook has agreed to pay a £500,000 (about $643,000) fine imposed by the UK's data protection watchdog over the Cambridge Analytica scandal but without admitting any liability.
The social network has also withdrawn its appeal against a penalty notice issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in Oct 2018, ending the more than yearlong litigation between the company and the regulator.
The tech giant, later, filed an appeal against the fine. The tribunal hearing the appeal issued an interim decision in June 2019 stating, “holding that procedural fairness and allegations of bias on the part of the ICO should be considered as part of the appeal, and that the ICO should be required to disclose materials relating to its decision-making process”.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Facebook has no admission to a liability. The company has also been allowed to retain the documents shared by the ICO.
James Dipple-Johnstone, the ICO’s deputy commissioner, said: “The ICO welcomes the agreement reached with Facebook for the withdrawal of their appeal against our monetary penalty notice and agreement to pay the fine. The ICO’s main concern was that UK citizen data was exposed to a serious risk of harm.
“Protection of personal information and personal privacy is of fundamental importance, not only for the rights of individuals, but also as we now know, for the preservation of a strong democracy. We are pleased to hear that Facebook has taken, and will continue to take, significant steps to comply with the fundamental principles of data protection. With this strong commitment to protecting people’s personal information and privacy, we expect that Facebook will be able to move forward and learn from the events of this case.”
Harry Kinmonth, a counsel for Facebook , said: “We are pleased to have reached a settlement with the ICO. As we have said before, we wish we had done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica in 2015. We made major changes to our platform back then, significantly restricting the information which app developers could access. Protecting people’s information and privacy is a top priority for Facebook , and we are continuing to build new controls to help people protect and manage their information," reported The Guardian.
“The ICO has stated that it has not discovered evidence that the data of Facebook users in the EU was transferred to Cambridge Analytica by Dr [Aleksandr] Kogan. However, we look forward to continuing to cooperate with the ICO’s wider and ongoing investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes.”
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