Facebook accept ICO fine

An agreement has been reached this week between Facebook and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The penalty of £500,000 has been paid by the social media giant although it does mean that they accept no liability relating to the penalty notice. This conclusion follows an appeal by Facebook against the ICO and then a further appeal from the ICO itself after a tribunal in June.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal saw researcher Dr Alexander Kogan and his company, GSR, use a personality quiz to collect Facebook data for up to 87 million users. Some of this data was then shared with Cambridge Analytica. The ICO stated that Facebook had not done enough to protect user data.

In a statement, the ICO’s deputy commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone said:

“The ICO’s main concern was that UK citizen data was exposed to a serious risk of harm. Protection of personal information and personal privacy is of fundamental importance, not only for the rights of individuals, but also as we now know, for the preservation of a strong democracy.

“We are pleased to hear that Facebook has taken, and will continue to take, significant steps to comply with the fundamental principles of data protection. With this strong commitment to protecting people’s personal information and privacy, we expect that Facebook will be able to move forward and learn from the events of this case.”

Jason Davies

UK based technology professional, with an interest in computer security and telecoms.

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