Fine imposed on Facebook over user privacy - United Kingdom lawmaker

In a statement the company said it had lodged a representative complaint with the Office of the Australia Information Commissioner (OAIC) that seeks compensation for "alleged breaches of the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1998".

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.

The UK's ICO - aka the Information Commissioner's Office - on Wednesday ruled Facebook had twice broken British data protection laws - by failing to safeguard people's information, and by failing to be properly transparent about how that info can be used. She added: "As we have said before, we should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015".

In a statement issued in advance, information commissioner Elizabeth Denham warned that voters' faith in the political system was being eroded. Facebook will have an opportunity to respond to the findings, after which the office will render a final judgment.

The firm had links to Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016 and had been under investigation by ICO since May 2017. If the incidents had occurred more recently - such as after the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) had taken effect - the company could have faced fines of £17 million, or even £1.4 billion (around 4% of its global turnover).

"New technologies that use data analytics to micro-target people give campaign groups the ability to connect with individual voters". Facebook also received a minor fine of $164,000 from French regulators for failing to meet the country's data protection rules. "We're reviewing the report and will respond to the ICO soon".

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".

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

Damian Collins, the chairman of the U.K. Parliament's media committee, said Wednesday that the company "should now make the results of their internal investigations known to the ICO, our committee and other relevant investigatory authorities".

That's why greater and genuine transparency about the use of data analytics is vital'.

The ICO said it expects to have wrapped up these investigations by the end of October.

"The number of Facebook users affected by this kind of data scraping may be far greater than has now been acknowledged".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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