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Facebook appeals ICO’s £500k fine for role in Cambridge Analytica scandal

THE SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook has appealed the fine imposed on it by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for its part in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The ICO handed down the maximum £500,000 fine – the equivalent of about 18 minutes of quarterly profit at Facebook – last month, after concluding that the embattled social network failed to ensure the data misused by Cambridge Analytica to influence the 2016 presidential election was deleted. 

Facebook said on Wednesday that as the watchdog found no evidence that UK users’ personal data had been caught up in the scandal, the half-a-million-pound penalty was unjustified.

“The ICO’s investigation stemmed from concerns that UK citizens’ data may have been impacted by Cambridge Analytica, yet they now have confirmed that they have found no evidence to suggest that information of Facebook users in the UK was ever shared by Dr Kogan with Cambridge Analytica, or used by its affiliates in the Brexit referendum,” said a statement from Facebook’s lawyer Anna Benckert, according to the BBC

“Therefore, the core of the ICO’s argument no longer relates to the events involving Cambridge Analytica. Instead, their reasoning challenges some of the basic principles of how people should be allowed to share information online, with implications which go far beyond just Facebook, which is why we have chosen to appeal.

“For example, under the ICO’s theory, people should not be allowed to forward an email or message without having agreement from each person on the original thread.

“These are things done by millions of people every day on services across the internet, which is why we believe the ICO’s decision raises important questions of principle for everyone online which should be considered by an impartial court based on all the relevant evidence.”

The ICO has yet to comment on Facebook’s appeal. 

When it announced the fine last month, the watchdog slammed Facebook for falling foul of British data protection laws twice by failing to safeguard its users’ information and not being transparent about how that data was harvested by others. µ

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Source : Inquirer

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