The UK’s data watchdog has just issues the maximum possible fine against Facebook for its failure to protect personal information of their users in regards to the Cambridge Analytica scandal that broke out a few months ago, here in Cambridge.

The fine is a mere £500,000, a small fee for a company that announced $13.2 billion in revenue in the last quarter alone but nonetheless, a step towards demonstrating that such behaviour in the future will not be tolerated. The figure is so low simply because it was calculated using the UK’s outdated 1998 Data Protection Act, and regulators say it would have been “significantly higher” under the EU’s new GDPR regulations, which came into force in the UK in May.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said Facebook had let a “serious breach” of the law take place and had given app developers access to people’s data “without clear consent” or any proper checks on those using its platform. It added that a company “of its size and expertise should have known better and done better”.

Confirming the fine, it said in a statement: “Between 2007 and 2014, Facebook processed the personal information of users unfairly by allowing application developers access to their information without sufficiently clear and informed consent, and allowing access even if users had not downloaded the app, but were simply ‘friends’ with people who had.

“Facebook also failed to keep the personal information secure because it failed to make suitable checks on apps and developers using its platform.”

Facebook, which has the right to appeal the verdict, said: “We are currently reviewing the ICO’s decision. While we respectfully disagree with some of their findings, we have said before that we should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and taken action in 2015. We are grateful that the ICO has acknowledged our full cooperation throughout their investigation, and have also confirmed they have found no evidence to suggest UK Facebook users’ data was in fact shared with Cambridge Analytica.”

The company is already facing an investigation by the Irish data regulator over an unconnected data breach discovered last month, which could result in a record fine.

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Nicholas is a social entrepreneur, passionate marketeer, career + life coach, consultant, speaker, and community builder. He does this through 1-on-1 coaching, non-profit and businesses consulting, and on a larger scale as Co-founder + Managing Director of CFM Group. He is an internationally recognized strategist, coach, speaker and in the process of writing his 1st book. Possessing over 13 years’ experience in helping clients realise their potential through clarifying their vision, message and market to design the strategies and roadmaps needed to succeed. Utilising this extensive background in strategic planning, pitch and message design, marketing and communications, executive and speaker coaching was his pathway to founding His knowlegde was fundamental in building the company with an investment capital of £1 and a large social impact community and professional development hub in Cambridge, UK. Feel free to comment on any of our articles that interests you or message our CEO directly at ! We hope you enjoy our blog !

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