Facebook has been handed the maximum available fine available to the UK’s information commissioner for two breaches of the Data Protection Act in relation to its role in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
A total of £500,000 will be docked from the business in punishment for its failure to safeguard user data and an absence of transparency in how it allowed that information to be used by others. This sum is unlikely to give much cause for alarm to Facebook’s accountants however, with the company earning that in revenue every five and a half minutes.
Facebook caught a break in that its offences fell under the remit of the 1998 Data Protection Act and not the European level General Data Protection Regulations which carries a maximum fine of 4% of global turnover – equivalent in Facebook’s case to £1.4bn.
Elizabeth Denham said: “Facebook has failed to provide the kind of protections they are required to under the Data Protection Act. Fines and prosecutions punish the bad actors, but my real goal is to effect change and restore trust and confidence in our democratic system.”
Facebook has since vowed to get its house in order by way of its largest ever brand campaign in which it pledges to do more to protect individual privacy.
None of this has dented Facebook's bottom line however, with the social networks stock valuation hitting a new all-time high.