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Pressure mounts on Cambridge Analytica and Facebook over harvested data scandal (Page 5 of 5)

18th March 2018

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Updated 12th July 2018

Facebook faces £500,000 fine from UK data watchdog (

For its failure to ensure Cambridge Analytica had deleted users’ data and bringing criminal action against the now defunct companies parent company SCL Elections, and also raising concerns regards political parties buying users’ data from “data brokers”.

Small change for Zuck’s co really, but totemic of displeasure, somewhat akin to a dislike or “downvote” F’book finally introduced (, Apr. 2018). And one example of marketing data sold was specifically mentioned:

Specifically it named one company used by the Labour Party, Emma’s Diary, which gives medical advice and free baby-themed products to parents.

Emma’s Diary faces fine for selling new mums’ data to Labour (

Pregnant women using the Emma’s Diary service, which is promoted by the Royal College of General Practitioners and with GPs and midwifes distributing information packs, because of free products and discount coupons.

It said Lifecycle Marketing had sold the data for use in the 2017 general election campaign without disclosing it might do so.

But doubtless still making some wonder why they should be worried.

Facebook scandal: Who is selling your personal data? (

I mean, they were giving those coupons and free stuff, and who doesn’t like free stuff.

But in exchange for free nappies, they also gave consent for their data to be used for a mix of advertising purposes.

Indeed, the user’s data is the real product on offer these “data brokers” deal in and F’book is the platform promising to connect everyone for them, for their own fee of course.

Updated 21st July 2018

Facebook suspends another analytics firm amid questions over surveillance (Latest Picks 21st July 2018).

“We don’t allow developers to build surveillance tools using information from Facebook or Instagram. We take these allegations seriously, and we have suspended these apps while we investigate,” said a Facebook spokesman.

Updated 28th July 2018

British MPs warn fake news is a democratic crisis for UK in report leaked early by Vote Leave chappie calling it ‘fake news’ (Latest Picks 28th July 2018).

Updated 25th October 2018

And upholding its July decision:

UK fines Facebook £500,000 for failing to protect user data (

Facebook has been fined £500,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, after allowing third party developers to access user information without sufficient consent.

The maximum amount available to the regulator under the previous legislation which would have been a lot higher of up to £1.2bn under the click the accept these cookies notice required European Union’s General Protection Privacy Regulation (GDPR) regulations introduced in the spring (Latest Picks updated 25th May 2018) but as suggested in the next paragraph “a drop in the ocean for a company that brought in $40.7bn (£31.5bn) in global revenue in 2017”. And by hiring former coalition Lib Dem leader Peg Leg Clegg as vice-president of global affairs and communications (Latest Picks 19th Oct. 2018) with his strong links with the European Parliament Zuck likely hoping he’s brought them self an inside man to avoid any future GDPR regulatory bear traps.

Perhaps a greater loss for Zuck’s ad revenue social media cash cow was actually the #DeleteFacebook campaign:

It turns out lots of people actually did #DeleteFacebook (, Sept. 2018).

According to [a Pew Study], 74 percent of users have either adjusted their privacy settings, taken an extended break from the site, or outright deleted the app from their phones—a full 24 percent of the latter. All of the participants have taken these actions over the last year.

Although just checking again I see Cher, initially so vocal to delete her Facebook (Page 2), is still on Facebook and as for Elon Musk, well it seems he’s got more to worry about these days and not seeing so much of an opportunity opening his sizeable mouth about it only to find his foot leaping straight in there: Elon Musk didn’t delete SpaceX and Tesla from Facebook, according to this developer (, Apr. 2018).

Earlier in the month Google announced it would shutter its Google+ social network after failing to disclose a similar user data leak (Latest Picks 9th Oct. 2018), the shuttering and insistence that, although not sure at all, they don’t think any exploitation occurred likely helping them escape from any similar fine them self.

Updated 19th December 2018

And following on from the maximum fine imposed by the UK’s data protection watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO):

Facebook sued by top prosecutor over Cambridge Analytica (

Washington DC’s top prosecutor is suing Facebook in the first significant US move to punish the firm for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

But will it be as with the ICO’s fine anything more than nawty Zuck can pay out of the small change in his ad revenue pants pocket?

Updated 31st January 2019

And on the back of another duo of simultaneous scandals requiring new vice president and former coalition deputy PM Sir Nick Clegg to be rolled out to pledge to do more on self-harm on Facebook owned Instagram and seeing Apple shutdown a legit yet dubious “Facebook Research app” which was was paying people, including teens, $20 a month to collect their data( as with April last year (Page 4) any backlash proves much less than knee high at best:

Facebook earnings, user base jump even as scandals grow (

Monthly active users—the number of people who log on to Facebook every month—rose 9 percent year over year to 2.32 billion in the fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 31. User growth is crucial for Facebook, which makes its money by selling advertising targeted to user interests.

Allowing Zuck to purr that “There’s a lot of negativity about the impact of technology. Some of it is fair and some of it is misplaced,” but with any shareholder “negativity” shoved down into the smallprint:

Facebook saw the most growth in monthly active users in Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world from the third to fourth quarter, data from the company shows. But the company also noted that 11 percent of its monthly active users in the fourth quarter may have been from duplicate accounts, a data point that was slipped into the fine print of the last page of its presentation. False accounts—those that are created for spam, pets, businesses or organizations—may have made up about 5 percent of its monthly active users.

And with no negativity regards what matters most either:

On Wednesday, Facebook reported that its revenue grew by 30 percent to $16.9 billion in the fourth quarter, beating the estimate of $16.3 billion forecast by analysts who were surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Seemingly suggesting, to paraphrase Zuck’s infamous statement (Page 2), those trusting users are the same dumb fucks as ever.

Updated 13th July 2019

And with France likely wading into trade war territory with Orange Don having unilaterally approved a digital services tax yesterday to try and get Google, Facebook and Amazon to pay up for their long use of double Irish tax strategy on non-US profits (, Jan. 2019), it’s time for the punishment paddle to be at least seen to be brandished on home turf too:

US regulators approve record $5bn data privacy violations fine on Facebook (Latest Picks 13th July 2019).

US regulators have approved a record $5bn (£4bn) fine on Facebook to settle an investigation into data privacy violations, reports in US media say.

But with many saying the record fine is still an embarrassing joke, equivalent to a month of Facebook’s revenue and matching the amount they told investors they had put aside for it last year.

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