Facebook Is Getting Its First Big Fine Over the Cambridge Analytica Scandal

The UK Information Commissioner's Office on Tuesday announced a preliminary fine of 500,000 pounds ($664,000) after finding the social-media giant had failed to protect user data and wasn't transparent about how the user data was obtained by others.

Facebook is facing by the UK's privacy watchdog for allowing Cambridge Analytica to improperly access key personal data on millions of its users.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is still investigating Facebook, and is yet to penalize the company. The ICO is also probing another pro-Brexit campaign group, Vote Leave, for sending personal data on United Kingdom citizens to a Cambridge Analytica-like (and possible Cambridge Analytica-affiliated) company called AggregateIQ, which Facebook has kicked off its platform.

Erin Egan, chief privacy officer at Facebook, said: "We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the USA and other countries". "We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the USA and other countries".

Analysts expect Facebook to make $22.6 billion in profit this year, according to FactSet.

But the anti-Brexit Britain Stronger in Europe campaign is also being investigated over its collection and sharing of personal data.

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It later launched an investigation that included political parties, data analytics companies and major social media platforms.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement to CNN that Facebook's relationship with Mail.Ru deserved further scrutiny. The tech giant is accused of not properly protecting user data and not disclosing properly how people's data was harvested by others. This initial report blossomed into multiple complaints about how Facebook controls the user data gathered by other companies, how much data Facebook itself stores and more. The ICO said it was providing the interim report to help that inquiry. The watchdog believes that the Cambridge Analytica's affiliate companies may still retain some data, and steps need to be taken to ensure a complete cleanup.

Mr Collins said his own committee will publish its interim report about disinformation and data use in political campaigns later this month.

Neither would be the first class action Facebook is fighting over this issue. Last year, antitrust regulators in the European Union slapped Facebook with a $122 million fine. The region's competition chief said the social media company had provided misleading information about its privacy promises during its 2014 acquisition of the messenger app WhatsApp.

"It's an important moment for data protection", she added. Tony Romm and Elizabeth Dwoskin wrote this story.

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