Social media giant Facebook is set to receive a record £4bn ($5bn) fine in order to settle an investigation into data privacy regulations regarding the ‘Cambridge Analytica scandal’.
The Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal was a major political scandal in early 2018 when it was revealed that UK-based Cambridge Analytica had harvested the personal data of millions of people’s Facebook profiles without their consent and used it for political advertising purposes.
It has been described as a watershed moment in the public understanding of personal data and precipitated a massive fall in Facebook’s stock price and calls for tighter regulation of tech companies’ use of data.
US regulator The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been investigating the allegations ever since and today announced the record fine.
The £4bn fine was approved by the FTC in a 3-2 vote with the representative Republican commissioners in favour of the fine and the Democrats opposing it.
According to the FTC, Cambridge Analytica illegally obtained the personal data of over 87 million Facebook users. Both Facebook and the FTC have failed to make any further comment.