Facebook is nowhere near getting its house in order, says the data cop who fined it for the Cambridge Analytica catastrophe

http://uk.businessinsider.com/facebook-hasnt-got-its-house-in-order-ico-elizabeth-denham-2018-11


Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark
Zuckerberg.

Getty

  • Facebook is not even close to getting its house in
    order on protecting people’s privacy, according to Britain’s
    information commissioner Elizabeth Denham.
  • She said Facebook’s business model rubs against privacy
    laws and it is part of an ecosystem that has shown a “very
    disturbing disregard” for the data of British
    citizens.
  • Denham’s office fined Facebook last month for the
    Cambridge Analytica
    scandal, and has now
    referred it to the Irish Data Protection Commissioner over
    other concerns about data gathering.
  • Facebook could be fined up to $1.6 billion if it has
    breached the EU’s GDPR privacy laws.

Facebook is not even close to getting its house in order on
protecting people’s privacy, according to the woman who hit the
company with a maximum fine for the Cambridge Analytica
catastrophe.

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office
(ICO) fined Facebook £500,000 ($645,000) last month
for the
Cambridge Analytica data breach as part of an unprecedented
investigation into data misuse in British politics.

Giving evidence to a British parliamentary committee on Tuesday,
information commissioner Elizabeth Denham said Facebook has a lot
of work to do to improve its privacy processes. She added that
regulation is required to ensure the company gets its act
together.

Denham said Facebook’s advertising business model rubs against
privacy laws and the company is part of an ecosystem that has
shown a “very disturbing disregard” for the data of British
citizens.


Elizabeth Denham
Elizabeth Denham.
Parliamentlive.tv

“Regulators need to look at the effectiveness of their
processes,” she told lawmakers of the Digital, Culture, Media,
and Sport Committee. “There’s a fundamental tension between the
business model, the advertising business model of Facebook, and
fundamental rights like protection of privacy.”

She added: “Facebook needs to significantly change their business
model and practices to maintain trust.”

Read more: Britain is coming for Silicon
Valley’s unruly tech giants, and it could change the way they do
business forever

Denham made repeated reference to the fact that data practices at
companies like Facebook and Twitter need to be “subject to
stricter regulation and oversight.” She added: “The time for
self-regulation is over… that ship has sailed.”

Denham was speaking as the ICO published a 113-page
investigation
into the use of data analytics in political
campaigns. The report provides a comprehensive account of the
Cambridge Analytica breach, which allowed the political
consultancy to exploit the data of 87 million Facebook users
harvested by developer Dr Aleksandr Kogan.

Facebook referred to the Irish Data Protection Commissioner

It also refers Facebook to the Irish Data Protection Commissioner
over “ongoing concerns” about the company’s “targeting functions
and techniques that are used to monitor individuals’ browsing
habits, interactions and behaviour across the internet.”

The Irish Data Protection Commissioner oversees GDPR complaints
made against Facebook. The EU’s GDPR laws allow data regulators
to fine companies up to 4% of their global turnover, which in
Facebook’s case would be $1.6 billion.

A Facebook spokeswoman said: “We regularly engage with regulators
regarding our advertising tools, which we believe fully comply
with EU data protection laws. We look forward to continuing these
discussions with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, as our
lead regulator on data protection matters under the GDPR.”

The company is currently reviewing the £500,000 ICO fine and has
left the door open to a potential appeal.