Following data scandal fine in UK, Facebook may face penalty in Australia

  • Following data scandal fine in UK, Facebook may face penalty in Australia

Following data scandal fine in UK, Facebook may face penalty in Australia

The Facebook probe is part of a wider investigation into the use of data in political campaigns, which the ICO launched a year ago, the interim results of which are out today.

Facebook faces a £500,000 ($665,000) fine from the UK's data protection watchdog, the ICO, for failing to protect netizens' info nor tell them how their data would be harvested by apps.

The revelations that data belonging to as many as 87 million Facebook users and their friends may have been misused is a "game changer" in the world of data protection, Denham said.

In Facebook's case this would amount to around US$1.6 billion (€1.4 billion).

"We are at a crossroads". But it would represent the first tangible punishment for the company's privacy scandal, which tarnished its reputation, temporarily pushed down its shares and forced CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress, but otherwise led to few lasting repercussions. According to former Cambridge Analytica data scientist Christopher Wylie, a whistleblower, the firm aimed to construct psychographic profiles it could use to sway the votes of susceptible individuals. "But this can not be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law". She added: 'Trust and confidence in the integrity of our democratic processes risk being disrupted because the average voter has little idea of what is going on behind the scenes.

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova welcomed the ICO report.

"It shows the scale of the problem and that we are doing the right thing with our new data protection rules", she said.

"Everyone from social media firms, political parties and data brokers seem to be taking advantage of new technologies and micro-targeting techniques with very limited transparency and responsibility towards voters", she said.

"The scandal took place before new European Union data protection laws that allow much larger fines came into force", the broadcaster says. Facebook initially said the scandal affected about 310,000 Australians in total.

That's why greater and genuine transparency about the use of data analytics is vital'.

Collins said Wednesday that the social media giant "should now make the results of their internal investigations known to the ICO, our committee and other relevant investigatory authorities".

It has also said that, while it pitched for work with campaign group Leave.EU ahead of the Brexit referendum in Britain in 2016, it did not end up doing any work on the campaign.

The report also initiates the prosecution of SCL Elections Ltd, which is Cambridge Analytica's parent company, "for failing to properly deal with the ICO's Enforcement Notice".

"The number of Facebook users affected by this kind of data scraping may be far greater than has now been acknowledged".

International Monetary Fund investment manager Nathan Landis told The Australian newspaper most awards for privacy breaches ranged between A$1,000 and A$10,000 (US$750-$7,500).