Facebook is appealing against a £500,000 data protection fine imposed on them by the Information Commissioner Office (ICO) for its role in the Cambridge Analytic data sharing scandal, according to a BBC report.
The social network insisted that the penalty charge was “unjustified” as the regulator had found no proof to substantiate allegations that British data had been shared.
Affected social media users?
Last month, the ICO discovered that the private information of at least 1 million UK users was among the harvested data and that the data had been shared inappropriately.
The ICO also concluded that Facebook failed to protect the personal information of its users by not making any suitable safety checks on its platform.
These failings, allowed Dr. Aleksandr Kogan to send a personality testing application to gather the data of up to 87 million Facebook users.
Facebook’s associate general counsel for EMEA, Anna Benckert, said: “The ICO’s investigation stemmed from concerns that UK citizens’ data may have been impacted by Cambridge Analytica, yet they now have confirmed that they have found no evidence to suggest that information of Facebook users in the UK was ever shared by Dr. Kogan with Cambridge Analytica, or used by its affiliates in the Brexit referendum.”
She claimed that the core of ICO’s argument “no longer relates to the events involving Cambridge Analytica.
“Instead, their reasoning challenges some of the basic principles of how people should be allowed to share information online, with implications which go far beyond just Facebook, which is why we have chosen to appeal.”
“For example, under the ICO’s theory, people should not be allowed to forward an email or message without having agreement from each person on the original thread.
“These are things done by millions of people every day on services across the internet, which is why we believe the ICO’s decision raises important questions of principle for everyone online, which should be considered by an impartial court based on all the relevant evidence.”
Data protection fine
According to the report, the regulator issued the highest data protection fine under the old data protection laws for their alleged breaches.
ICO said, in a press release issued last month, that the data protection fine “would have been significantly higher” under the new GDPR regulations.
The case will be assessed by an independent body called the General Regulatory Chamber tribunal. If for whatever reason, the social media site is still dissatisfied with their verdict, Facebook can take the case to the Court of Appeal.
ICO is yet to release an official response in relation to the appeal but is aware of Facebooks intention to lodge an appeal. The appeal, along with ICO allegations may reignite criticism over Facebook’s influence in US politics.