MANILA, Philippines – Facebook agreed to pay a £500,000 ($645,000) penalty levied on it by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as part of an agreement between the company and the ICO.
Facebook appealed the fine, which was issued in October 2018, eventually reaching an agreement between the two parties.
Per the settlement, Facebook “agreed to pay the £500,000 fine but has made no admission of liability in relation to” ICO’s monetary penalty notice (MPN).
The agreement will also allow Facebook to keep documents disclosed by the ICO during the appeal. This, the ICO settlement said, will allow Facebook to continue its own investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Parts of the investigation had previously been put on hold by the ICO, and the settlement will allow the investigation to resume.
James Dipple-Johnstone, ICO deputy commissioner, welcomed the settlement, saying: “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 as we now know, for the preservation of a strong democracy.”
He added: “We are pleased to hear that Facebook has taken, and will continue to take, significant steps to comply with the fundamental principles of data protection. With this strong commitment to protecting people’s personal information and privacy, we expect that Facebook will be able to move forward and learn from the events of this case.”
Meanwhile, Harry Kinmonth, director and associate general counsel for Facebook, echoed those sentiments, saying, “Protecting people’s information and privacy is a top priority for Facebook, and we are continuing to build new controls to help people protect and manage their information.”
The fine itself appears to be minor relative to Facebook’s currently projected earnings of about $70 billion, according to analysts. – Rappler.com