Britain fines Facebook in Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal

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The British government ordered Facebook Wednesday to pay a $644,000 fine in connection with the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

In issuing the small fine, London’s International Commissioner’s Office said its main concern the vulnerability of users’ information.

Cambridge Analytica is a political consulting firm in London that has been accused of harvesting the personal information of 87 million Americans and at least one million Britons and using the data during the U.S. presidential election and Britain’s EU referendum, both in 2016. Investigators say the consulting firm violated data security laws.

“Protection of personal information and personal privacy is of fundamental importance, not only for the right of individuals, but also as we now know, for the preservation of a strong democracy,” IOC Deputy Commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone said in a statement.

Facebook said it has since built in new privacy controls to help users protect their information. The social media giant also said it wishes it had done more to investigate the claims against Cambridge Analytica in 2015.
Facebook denies wrongdoing, but agreed to pay the fine.

“We made major changes to our platform back then, significantly restricting the information and privacy is a top priority for Facebook, and we are continuing to build new control to help people protect and manage their information,” the company said.

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