Facebook hit with first fine in Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal

Facebook has been hit with a maximum possible fine for allowing political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to harvest the information of millions of people without their consent.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg earlier this year admitted his company made mistakes in a "breach of trust" with users and he ordered reforms to prevent a repeat and to give people more control over how their data is used.

Social media giant Facebook was dealt a blow this morning when a prominent United Kingdom watchdog said it planned to impose a maximum fine on the company for two breaches of the Data Protection Act.

IMF Bentham said it had partnered with law firm Johnson Winter & Slattery to lodge the complaint with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

Facebook is facing by the UK's privacy watchdog for allowing Cambridge Analytica to improperly access key personal data on millions of its users.

Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by Donald Trump in 2016, has denied its work on the USA president's successful election campaign made use of data.

The watchdog also plans to bring criminal charges against Cambridge Analytica's defunct parent company SCL Elections.

"The scandal took place before new European Union data protection laws that allow much larger fines came into force", the broadcaster says.

Facebook's Egan referred to the numerous investigations involving the company.

"Facebook should now make the results of their internal investigations known to the ICO, our committee and other relevant investigatory authorities". If other developers broke the law we have a right to know, and the users whose data may have been compromised in this way should be informed. "We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the U.S. and other countries".

"The number of Facebook users affected by this kind of data scraping may be far greater than has now been acknowledged". Among the issues they are still probing is an assertion by Cambridge Analytica that it had deleted the data, after the social media giant requested it in 2015.

Since its entanglement with Cambridge Analytica became public, Facebook has pledged to review all third-party apps on the platform while introducing new transparency measures, including an online repository of all political ads that run on the site.

It also said it would send warning letters to 11 political parties to compel them to audit their data protection practices.