Facebook Inc. (FB) was handed a fine of $645,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The ICO observed that the social media giant failed to protect its users’ privacy and an organization of its size should have done more to prevent the data misuse.
The penalty was the maximum allowed under the previous legislation but it is seen by many as a slap on the wrist for a large company like Facebook, which earns billions in revenue. Under the GDPR, the fine would have been much higher, with some sources estimating it at more than $20 million, which would be 4% of the company’s global turnover.
Around 1 million UK users were said to be affected by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the data of around 87 million people were harvested. Cambridge Analytica was rumored to have played a part in meddling with the US election and officials in the UK are investigating whether the firm might have done the same with the Brexit vote.
Under the GDPR, Facebook could be fined 4% of its global turnover
Facebook has since faced other security breaches as well and could face huge fines under the GDPR. The company has stated in the past that it is taking various measures to deal with misinformation and fake accounts on its platform. Facebook is also reportedly doing its best to improve its safety features and prevent cyberattacks and misuse of user data.
Facebook is set to report its third quarter earnings results on Tuesday, October 30. The social media firm is expected to report revenues of $14.2 billion and earnings of $1.46 per share. Looking at the stock movement, year-to-date, shares have dropped 15% and over the past one month, they have fallen 9%.
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