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Facebook faces maximum fine from UK data watchdog

Compared to how bad it could have been, they got off easy.

The Information Commissioner's Office, a data watchdog in the UK, has slapped the maximum fine they can give onto Facebook for that whole Cambridge Analytica scandal a few months ago.

What it means: The ICO's responsibility is to make sure people don't violate the terms of the Data Protection Act, the Freedom of Information Act, and a few other similar laws relating to data and use of information.

They've fined Facebook £500,000 for breaching its own rules by not making sure Cambridge Analytica deleted the data it held on users without their consent, and not explaining properly to users exactly how that data was being used.

They're also investigating whether the Vote Leave campaign misused data in similar ways, something more and more people have been saying lately.

Facebook got lucky: a new EU law which came in on May 25 would have seen them get fined 4% of global annual sales, which would have been a lot more than £500,000 – but the law only applies to violations committed from that date onwards, and Facebook's been misbehaving loooong before then – which ironically means they're facing a much lower fine than they otherwise would have been.

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