Facebook fined Sh66.8 million over Cambridge data harvesting row

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For Facebook's part in the ongoing Cambridge Analytica scandal, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has today stated its intent to fine the social network £500,000, finding the company to be in breach of the country's Data Protection Act.

Facebook will be put under more scrutiny by United Kingdom regulators involving “evidence that copies of the data/parts of it also seem to have been share with other parties and on other systems beyond” despite Cambridge Analyticas declaration that it had wiped all the data that it was asked to.

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

The agency said Tuesday that the social media giant "contravened the law by failing to safeguard people's information".

The fine is the maximum allowed under Britain's old data protection law, although that was replaced by the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May, where companies can be fined up to 4 percent of revenue for breaches. That probe is still ongoing, but the watchdog released a progress report on Wednesday, plus a separate report containing recommendations about the issue of personal information and political influence.

Facebook will address the proposed penalty before the watchdog makes a final ruling.

It said it was investigating both leave and remain campaigners in the referendum, and that it had issued an enforcement notice for AIQ, a data firm that worked for official Brexit campaign Vote Leave, to stop processing retained data from British citizens.

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Just 53 Australians downloaded the "this is your digital life" Facebook quiz app responsible for the Cambridge Analytica data breach.

"We are fully cooperating with the investigation now under way by the Australian Privacy Commissioner and will review any additional evidence that is made available when the UK Office of the Information Commissioner releases their report", the spokeswoman said.

Facebook said the company illicitly gained access to personal information of up to 87 million users via an academic intermediary, although the firm said the number was much smaller than that.

Facebook's revenue previous year totalled $40.7bn (£30.7bn), so half a million pounds. "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", Denham said.

Facebook has said that a Cambridge University lecturer named Aleksandr Kogan collected the data legitimately through a personality quiz app but then violated Facebook's terms by sharing the information with Cambridge Analytica, a firm later hired by the Trump presidential campaign during the 2016 USA election.

The ICO said its investigation is continuing and the next phase is expected to be concluded by the end of October.

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