Facebook faces over $650G fine in Britain over data misuse scandal

Compensation sought for Australians caught up in Facebook privacy breach

The Silicon Valley tech giant is facing its first financial penalty as the United Kingdom has imposed the maximum penalty of £500,000 (around $664,000) over Facebook's Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal.

On Wednesday, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) proposed a £500,000 fine for the social media giant.

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".

As such, the "investigation into data analytics in political campaigns" has resulted in a number of other regulatory actions and recommendations.

Facebook has said it will be reviewing the report and responding to the ICO soon.

"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", Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a statement according to CNBC.

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The danger was highlighted by the death of a former Navy SEAL as he helped bring oxygen tanks along the route. The Guardian reported on Tuesday afternoon local time that a ninth and 10th boy had been pulled from the cave.

Damian Collins, chair of the DCMS committee said: "Given that the ICO is saying that Facebook broke the law, it is essential that we now know which other apps that ran on their platform may have scraped data in a similar way". "Whilst these concerns about Facebook's advertising model exist generally in relation to its commercial use, they are heightened when these tools are used for political campaigning". The firm had links to Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016 and had been under investigation by ICO since May 2017.

Apart from Facebook, the probe is also covering more companies and there are plans to send warning letters to 11 political parties. Facebook will have an opportunity to respond to the findings, after which the office will render a final judgment.

SCL Elections was liquidated in the wake of the scandal. The U.K.'s investigation found "evidence that copies of the data/parts of it also seem to have been shared with other parties and on other systems beyond", which "potentially brings into question the accuracy" of Cambridge Analytica's assertion that it wiped the data from its stores.

The Facebook probe is part of a wider investigation into the use of data in political campaigns, which the ICO launched previous year, the interim results of which are out today.

"The company has consistently failed to answer the questions from our committee as to who at Facebook was informed about it. That's why greater and genuine transparency about the use of data analytics is vital". The region's competition chief said the social media company had provided misleading information about its privacy promises during its 2014 acquisition of the messenger app WhatsApp.

"It shows the scale of the problem and that we are doing the right thing with our new data protection rules", she said.

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