NEWS30 October 2019

Facebook pays £500,000 ICO fine

News Privacy UK

UK – Facebook has agreed to pay the £500,000 fine imposed by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for failing to protect data in the Cambridge Analytica case.

Person holding phone with Facebook login screen

Facebook had appealed the fine, which lead the ICO to start a counter-appeal, but it has now been resolved with Facebook agreeing to pay the fine but not have to admit liability.

The ICO began its investigation into the misuse of personal data in political campaigns in 2017 with the penalty notice issued to Facebook in October 2018.

The monetary penalty notice identified suspected failings in complying with the UK data protection principles covering lawful processing of data and data security.

As well as not admitting liability, Facebook can retain documents disclosed by the ICO during the appeal for other purposes, to carry out its own investigation into issues around Cambridge Analytica.

James Dipple-Johnstone, deputy commissioner, said: “The ICO welcomes the agreement reached with Facebook… the ICO’s main concern was that UK citizen data was exposed to a serious risk of harm.

“Protection of personal information and personal privacy is of fundamental importance, not only for the rights of individuals, but also for the preservation of a strong democracy. We are pleased to hear that Facebook has taken significant steps to comply with the fundamental principles of data protection. We expect that Facebook will be able to move forward and learn from the events of this case.”

Harry Kinmonth, director and associate general counsel, Facebook added: “We are pleased to have reached a settlement with the ICO. We wish we had done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica in 2015. Ee are continuing to build new controls to help people protect and manage their information.

“The ICO has stated that it has not discovered evidence that the data of Facebook users in the EU was transferred to Cambridge Analytica by Dr Kogan. However, we look forward to continuing to cooperate with the ICO’s wider and ongoing investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes.”