Facebook Appeals Against £500,000 Fine Imposed By UK; Says ‘No Proof’ Of Data Leak To Cambridge AnalyticaFacebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Social media Goliath, Facebook, has revealed on Wednesday (21 November) that it has appealed against the £500,000 fine imposed on it by the UK’s independent data watchdog for a “massive breach” of user data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook claims that the regulator had not uncovered any evidence that user data had been shared inappropriately, reports The New Indian Express.

The fine amount was the maximum penalty that could be issued by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The fine stems from the Cambridge Analytica controversy, in which personal data of 87 million Facebook users was harvested by an academic at the University of Cambridge, Dr Aleksandr Kogan, and was then allegedly shared with SCL group, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, a company involved in data-based political campaigning.

Facebook’s lawyer, Anna Beckett, said the ICO’s investigation had uncovered no evidence that UK users’ data had been shared by Dr Kogan with Cambridge Analytica or that the data had been used by any of its affiliates to swing the Brexit referendum. She also challenged the ruling on the basis of its implications on how people would be allowed to share information online, claiming the effects would go far beyond just Facebook.

The ICO ruling held Facebook liable for its “inability” to protect user data between 2007 and 2014 by unfairly allowing app developers access to people’s information without sufficiently clear and informed consent, even letting them access to data of people who had not themselves downloaded the apps but were just friends with those who had.

The fine was imposed under the UK’s Data Protection Act, 1998, which has now been replaced by the Data Protection Act in 2018, along with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations. The new rules provide for a maximum fine of £17 million or four per cent of global turnover.

An Appeal...

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