UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office has revealed that Facebook has agreed to pay a £500,000 fine over the social network’s involvement in the Cambridge Analytica Scandal. According to the organization, Facebook violated the Data Protection Act 1998.
In case you didn’t know, the organization initially fined Facebook in October 2018. However, Facebook appealed about the verdict later in November. Afterwards, the General Regulatory Chamber asked ICO to provide materials related to the decision-making process. At the time ICO appealed in response and now, Facebook has decided to withdraw its appeal. As part of the new agreement, both parties will pay legal fees on their own and Facebook has received the ICO materials to further investigate the issues related to Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Talking about the latest verdict, the Deputy Commissioner of ICO, James Dipple-Johnstone said, "The ICO welcomes the agreement reached with Facebook for the withdrawal of their appeal against our Monetary Penalty Notice and agreement to pay the fine. 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."
On the other hand, Harry Kinmonth, Director and Associate General Counsel, Facebook said, “We are pleased to have reached a settlement with the ICO. As we have said before, we wish we had done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica in 2015. We made major changes to our platform back then, significantly restricting the information which app developers could access. Protecting people’s information and privacy is a top priority for Facebook, and we are continuing to build new controls to help people protect and manage their information. The ICO has stated that it has not discovered evidence that the data of Facebook users in the EU was transferred to Cambridge Analytica by Dr Kogan. However, we look forward to continuing to cooperate with the ICO’s wider and ongoing investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes.”