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

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.

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 had few lasting repercussions.

The UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) today announced that the social media giant will be fined £500,000 for breaching data protection laws.

Under Australian law, all organizations must take "reasonable steps" to ensure personal information is held securely and IMF Bentham has teamed up with a major law firm to lodge a complaint with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIO).

Facebook is facing a class action in Australia for allegedly breaching privacy laws over the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal.

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.

Facebook has said it will be reviewing the report and responding to the ICO soon.




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

"We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the United States and other countries", Facebook's chief privacy officer Erin Egan added in a statement reported by the Post.

The British agency said it is still weighing potential penalties against Kogan as well as Alexander Nix, the former chief executive of Cambridge Analytica.

Mr Collins said his own committee will publish its interim report about disinformation and data use in political campaigns later this month. The U.K.'s investigation found "evidence that copies of the data/parts of it also seem to have been shared with other parties and on other systems beyond", which "potentially brings into question the accuracy" of Cambridge Analytica's assertion that it wiped the data from its stores.

As such it has served Facebook with a notice of intent to fine the biz, and if the sum is coughed up by the web giant as expected, it will be the biggest fine issued by the ICO.

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

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