Facebook faces its first fine of USD 664,000 from the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on Tuesday for allowing Cambridge Analytica improper data access of Millions of people, possibly the first of many more fines and regulations from governments globally.
The information breach revealed that Cambridge Analytica used the information to potentially manipulate the public opinion of Facebook users, including the people that wanted Britain to withdraw from the European Union in 2016. Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer, Erin Egan, acknowledged in a statement that Facebook “should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015.” Egan also referenced the investigations as well, “We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with the authorities in the U.S. and other countries,” she said. “We’re reviewing the report and will respond to the ICO soon.”
There are still ongoing investigations in Europe and the U.S., and a probe from the Federal Trade Commission that could potentially lead to a penalty of hundreds of Billions of dollars.
This isn’t the first time Europe has fined Facebook. Antitrust regulators in Europe penalized Facebook with a USD 122 Million fine in 2017 because the competition chief said the social media company had provided misleading information about privacy promises during its 2014 acquisition of the app WhatsApp. The Company was also fined USD 164,000 from French regulators for failing to meet its data protection rules.