The Social Network Giant was recently been slapped with a fine of £500,000 which they have chosen to appeal. The fine was imposed for contravention of the provisions to the Data Protection Act, 1998 in the UK. Apparently, that is the maximum fine that can be imposed under the aforementioned Act.
An overview of the FaceBook Cambridge Analytica Case
Popularly known as the Cambridge Analytica case, this scandal created ripples in the world of the internet. The social media giant recently found itself in the midst of a legal battle, which ended in the ICO slapping the social media firm with the maximum fine imposable under the infringed legislation.
The Impact and Consequences
In March 2018, Facebook’s stock price saw a deep dip due to the Cambridge Analytic scandal, in which the ethical standards of the online social media firm had been questioned. In this ugly episode, Cambridge Analytica allegedly accessed and used the personal data of over 87 million FaceBook users, for political purposes.
This ended with the fine of £500,000, which is the upper ceiling limit under the Data Protection Act, 1998. Meanwhile, Facebook continues to justify its stand by stating that it has been following the ‘commonly accepted practices’ that social media houses follow.
Anna Benckert, Facebook’s Lawyer made the following statement
“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”
Further, Facebook has reportedly clarified that the UK Regulators weren’t able to throw light on how British users were affected by this. On the other hand, the British authorities have reportedly accused Facebook of being discreet about the extent to which it provided access to third parties.
A sheer need for Legal reforms in the field of cyber laws has been identified with this scandal. Cyber laws, which are commensurate with a country’s existing data privacy and consumer laws need to be in place before any IT player is permitted to operate in a country. The current Appeal, when disposed of, would continue to act as a precedent for other cases. That means to say, similar action could be taken against other IT Companies that have been involved in data harvesting.