LONDON: Facebook has been fined £500,000 ($663,042) for failing to secure and protect users’ private information, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced.
The fine, which is for breaching the Data Protection Act and is the maximum amount possible, was imposed on Facebook for failing to prevent the harvesting of users’ data by the data firm Cambridge Analytica, according to ICO.
“The ICO’s investigation concluded that Facebook contravened the law by failing to safeguard people’s information,” the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said in a statement on its website. “It also found that the company failed to be transparent about how people’s data was harvested by others,” it added. Also commenting on the fines was the head of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), Elizabeth Denham, who said that “new technologies that use data analytics to micro-target people give campaign groups the ability to connect with individual voters. But this cannot be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law.”
“Fines and prosecutions punish the bad actors, but my real goal is to effect change and restore trust and confidence in our democratic system,” she added.
Facebook and data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, has been the focus of a series of international investigations following a leak that Cambridge Analytica had harvested the data of an estimated 87 million users across the world. Facebook has yet to respond to the fine levied by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). (AA)