Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Facebook hit with first fine in Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal

The survey results were allegedly used by election consultants Cambridge Analytica to target voters in U.S. elections, including Donald Trump's presidential campaign. £500,000 is the maximum allowed under the Data Protection Act 1998, which was in force when the breach occurred.

Former Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix REUTERS/Henry Nicholls Facebook has a chance to respond to the ICO before a final decision is made on the fine.

Facebook faces a £500,000 ($665,000) fine from the UK's data protection watchdog, the ICO, for failing to protect netizens' info nor tell them how their data would be harvested by apps.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has faced questioning by USA and European Union lawmakers over how Cambridge Analytica improperly got hold of the personal data of 87 million Facebook users from a researcher. "It also found that the company failed to be transparent about how people's data was harvested by others".

Under Australian law, all organizations must take "reasonable steps" to ensure personal information is held securely and IMF Bentham has teamed up with a major law firm to lodge a complaint with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIO). The firm had links to Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016 and had been under investigation by ICO since May 2017.

"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", she said.

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In the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook notified users who were affected by the data misuse with alerts at the tops of their news feeds.

Denham also called for the government to introduce a statutory code of practice for the use of personal data in political campaigns, adding that "this can not be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law". "We're reviewing the report and will respond to the ICO soon".

She said: "We are at a crossroads". "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".

"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 United States and other countries".

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

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