British watchdog fines Facebook $644,000 in Cambridge Analytica data scandal

Facebook was fined for giving away users' personal information without their consent.
(Patrick Sison / Associated Press)

Britain’s information commissioner has slapped Facebook with a fine of $644,000 — the maximum possible — for its behavior in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The Information Commissioner Office’s investigation found that between 2007 and 2014, Facebook processed the personal information of users unfairly by giving app developers access to their information without informed consent.

The fine was the maximum allowed under the law at the time the breach occurred. Had the scandal taken place after new EU data protection rules went into effect, the amount would have been far higher.

Social media companies have come under pressure globally following allegations that political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica used data from tens of millions of Facebook accounts to profile voters and help President Trump’s 2016 election campaign.