The UK privacy watchdog has fined Facebook £500,000 for how it has dealt with the Cambridge Analytica scandal. This leaves a decision from July, which was challenged by the social network.

The fine is more symbolic than anything else. After all, half a million dollars does not impress the quarterly turnover of 13.81 billion dollars. However, the trifle is a clear symbolic reaction. It is the maximum fine that the British privacy watchdog can impose on the social network.

Cambridge Analytica

The fine follows seven months after it came to light that a Facebook app, built by Aleksandr Kogan of Cambridge University, had collected data about 87 million users. Some of the information was shared with the SCL Group, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica. In the meantime, both companies no longer exist.

The British privacy watchdog wrote in its opinion that Facebook had not built in appropriate controls on apps and developers using its platform. The social network also hadn’t done enough to ensure that developers who used it were adequately monitored. The privacy watchdog states that the fact that data was collected on about one million British Facebook users is also a bad thing.

Avoiding gigantic penance

It is not certain that these data have actually been shared with Cambridge Analytica. However, the watchdog believes that the leak put users at great risk of their data being misused. If the leak had come to light after the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union came into force, Facebook could have received a fine of 1.54 billion dollars.

EU regulators are also taking an active stance on Facebook. This morning, a resolution was adopted calling on the company to allow EU employees to review its data policy. In addition, MEPs are calling on social networks to look more closely at bots’ access to their platforms.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.