Britain hits Facebook with maximum fine over data scandal

Kyodo News

Posted at Oct 26 2018 12:30 PM

A 3D printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed Russian flag in this photo illustration taken on August 3, 2018. Reuters

LONDON - Britain's data watchdog on Thursday levied the maximum possible fine of 500,000 pounds ($644,000) against Facebook Inc. for failing to protect the privacy of its users in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The Information Commissioner's Office said its probe found that from 2007 to 2014, Facebook processed the personal information of users unfairly by giving application developers access to their information without informed consent.

"Facebook failed to sufficiently protect the privacy of its users before, during and after the unlawful processing of this data," said Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner. "A company of its size and expertise should have known better and it should have done better."

Facebook is struggling with security issues following its April admission that data on up to 87 million users may have been improperly shared with the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked for the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign of Donald Trump.