Cambridge Analytica scandal: Facebook hit with $1.6 million fine

Brazilian Government is not happy with Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica breach.

Brazilian Government is not happy with Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica breach.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal continues to haunt Facebook. The company has been receiving fines left round and center for its blatant neglect and disregard towards users’ privacy. The latest to join the bandwagon after the US, Italy, and the UK, is the Brazilian government. 

Reportedly, the Brazilian government has fined the social network with a humongous $1.6 USD fine (6.6 million reais) for indulging in inappropriate data sharing. This amount is roughly three times higher than the $644,000 USD fine imposed by the UK government on Facebook. However, it is still much less than the fine Facebook received from the FCC, which amounted to an exorbitant $5 billion USD.

Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security’s Consumer Protection department asserts that the Cambridge Analytica breach was a massive security lapse by the social media giant since around 443,300 Facebook users in Brazil had their personal data used for very “questionable” and “abusive” purposes. 

See: 70% of the entire US population is now on Facebook

The data, as per the ministry’s investigation, which was initiated in 2018, was shared with app third-party developers for creating “This Is Your Digital Life” app. According to several studies, nearly 87 million users around the globe were affected by this scandal. 

Facebook responded to the news by stating that the company is currently assessing its legal options in this situation. Ironically, the company also reiterated that its entire focus has been on protecting user’s privacy. Furthermore, Facebook claims that there is no evidence that Brazilian users’ data was shared or transferred to Cambridge Analytica.

The social network has ten days deadline to appeal the decision and 30 days to pay the fine.

See: Names & Phone numbers of 267 million Facebook users exposed

Despite Facebook’s claim that it has made significant changes in its data sharing policy, the Brazilian ministry claims that the company failed in creating awareness among users regarding the default privacy settings on Facebook, especially related to data shared with Friends and Friends of Friends.

The decision was long overdue as the scandal made headlines and embarrassed Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg back in 2018.

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