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Facebook shares rise as UK ICO issues £500M fine over Cambridge Analytica

Facebook shares are higher Thursday, after the UK’s data watchdog issued the tech giant with a fine of £500 million for breaches around the Cambridge Analytica scandal. While it’s the maximum fine available to the Information Commissioner’s Office, it’s a drop in the ocean for the global social media platform.

By around 1610 BST, Facebook shares were 2.01% higher at $148.98. The stock has been trending lower in recent weeks and remains notably below its pre-data protection scandal-related levels.

Facebook’s UK ICO fine

The UK’s ICO Thursday issued a statement detailing the maximum data protection-related fine it has issued Facebook – $500 million – over breaches surrounding the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

“The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined Facebook £500,000 for serious breaches of data protection law,” the ICO said, Thursday.

This is the maximum fine available to the body, under the previous, 1998 Data Protection Act. The new updated GDPR rules provide a wider range of enforcement tools to bodies like the ICO, including the ability to impose much steeper penalties.

“Facebook failed to sufficiently protect the privacy of its users before, during and after the unlawful processing of this data, the ICO’s information commissioner, Elizabeth. “A company of its size and expertise should have known better and it should have done better.”

“We considered these contraventions to be so serious we imposed the maximum penalty under the previous legislation. The fine would inevitably have been significantly higher under the GDPR. One of our main motivations for taking enforcement action is to drive meaningful change in how organisations handle people’s personal data,” Denham added.

Facebook, other seek post-Brexit assurances

Separately, reports suggest Facebook, Google and Microsoft have attended a meeting with UK ministers in London to find out more and likely receive assurances over the impact of a possible no-deal Brexit on their existing investment and jobs, in the UK.

Company concerns are said to include data protection laws, staff visas and UK research and education.

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