Facebook, Inc. Common Stock (NASDAQ:FB) announced recently that it has finally resolved to pay a fine of about $643,000 to the U.K.’s data protection watchdog for its alleged involvement in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The U.K. Information Commission Office (ICO) issued the fine to the social media company in October 2018 after it was reported that the firm allowed the use of its clients’ personal data for political reasons.
The firm has taken more than a year to make the concrete decision after a series of backward and forward appeals with the regulator. Initially, Facebook refused and distanced itself from scandal, forcing the ICO to make another appeal against the company. However, the US-based tech giant is yet to admit liability on the matter, and attempts by news reporters to reach the company on the same has proved futile.
According to the latest news from NASDAQ, ICO’s main concern is the position of the UK’s citizen’s data that was exposed and misused by third parties. One of ICO policy issues is to protect the personal information and privacy of individuals to foster the rights of every citizen and democracy for all. Therefore, it is an offense to obtain and put in use anyone’s data without their permission.
In early 2018, Facebook was accused of allowing Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm in the UK to access personal data from millions of people’s Facebook accounts without their permission. The huge information was basically used for political campaigns in several countries, including the U.S. The first Facebook – Cambridge Analytica scandal was reported in 2015 when the US Senator Ted Cruz was accused of harvesting personal data from Facebook profiles for his campaigns through Cambridge Analytica. However, Facebook denied admitting the liability.
Facebook claims it was not aware of the exposure of its users’ data to third parties and that it was not given time to investigate the matter. ICO firmly insists that the firm breached the law on data protection under the Data Protection Act, 1998, for failing to protect its users.