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Italy Stings Facebook With $1.1 Million Fine For Cambridge Analytica Data Misuse

Italy’s data protection watchdog has slapped Facebook with a $1.1 million fine for violations of local privacy law attached to the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal. TechCrunch reports: Last year it emerged that up to 87 million Facebook users had had their data siphoned out of the social media giant’s platform by an app developer working for the controversial (and now defunct) political data company, Cambridge Analytica. The offences in question occurred prior to Europe’s tough new data protection framework, GDPR, coming into force — hence the relatively small size of the fine in this case, which has been calculated under Italy’s prior data protection regime. (Whereas fines under GDPR can scale as high as 4% of a company’s annual global turnover.) A Facebook spokesperson issued the following statement: “We have said before that we wish we had done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica in 2015. However, evidence indicates that no Italian user data was shared with Cambridge Analytica. Dr Kogan only shared data with Cambridge Analytica in relation to U.S. users. We made major changes to our platform back then and have also significantly restricted the information which app developers can access. We’re focused on protecting people’s privacy and have invested in people, technology and partnerships, including hiring more than 20,000 people focused on safety and security over the last year. We will review the Garante’s decision and will continue to engage constructively with their concerns.”


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