Facebook appeal maximum ICO fine for Cambridge Analytica
Facebook will appeal the £500,000 fine it received in October from the ICO, the maximum penalty for its failure to protect user data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The tech giant has countered that since ICO found no evidence of UK consumer data being shared with Cambridge Analytica or used by any other party to influence Brexit, there is no basis on which the British watchdog can fine the company. The news comes as British MPs also seized documents containing emails from the social media giant as part of the ongoing inquiry.
European Consumer Groups demand action against Google tracking apps
Earlier this year Google was accused of tracking users’ locations without their permission after an investigation found that the tech firm was continuing to track users even if they had the ‘Location feature’ disabled. While Google said it provides clear instructions on switching the tools off, it still created widespread outrage. Now the European Consumer Organisation has filed a complaint against Google on behalf of consumer groups from the Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, Norway, Slovenia, for appearing to breach GDPR in ignoring consumers’ privacy settings. Google has stood by its policy that guidelines are clear regarding the potential collection of location data to “improve your Google experience”, and in stating how consumers can disable location tracking.
British voters have serious concerns around internet transparency and data authenticity in pre-election period
The study from the European Commission, which found that EU voters are anxious about cyberattacks and foreign interference in the upcoming elections, has also highlighted an increasing apprehension around transparency and authenticity online. 75% of UK voters said they are concerned by “disinformation and misinformation on the internet” in the run-up to the elections, whilst 73% fear that peoples’ online data is being used to manipulate political messaging. The European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality commented on the results, saying the public know, “upcoming elections will not be business as usual”.
Uber’s data breach costs the company £385,000
The ICO levelled a £385,000 fine against Uber this week for its 2016 breach which saw around 3 million British customer records leaked owing to “security flaws” in the company’s cloud database. Hackers obtained data from customers and drivers in the UK and in Holland and the US, where respective authorities have brought Uber to account. Uber was also criticised for its handling of the breach: the company paid hackers $100,000 to erase the data and failed to notify affected individuals that their data had been compromised.