Facebook referred to GDPR authority over targeting methods

Facebook was referred to the Irish Data Protection Commission, the lead authority for the social network under GDPR.


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The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) referred Facebook to Ireland’s data watchdog over the way it targets users.

This follows the agency hitting Facebook with a £500,000 ($645,000) fine over data harvesting linked to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the maximum amount allowed under the Data Protection Act 1998.

That fine could’ve been considerably higher if the General Data Protection Regulation — an EU law that gives citizens more control over their personal data — had been in effect.


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“We have referred our ongoing concerns about Facebook’s targeting functions and techniques that are used to monitor individuals’ browsing habits, interactions and behavior across the internet and different devices … to the Irish Data Protection Commission,” the ICO told Reuters.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission is the lead authority for Facebook under GDPR, which came into effect in May, the news gathering service noted.

UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham also called for Facebook to be subject to stricter regulation, Reuters reported.

“Facebook needs to change, significantly change, their business model and their practices to maintain trust,” she told the UK parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee at a Tuesday meeting.

The ICO noted in an email to Techhnews that the social network’s outstanding issues, like problems with its ad transparency tool, fall outside the investigation that brought about the fine.

Neither Ireland’s Data Protection Commission nor Facebook immediately responded to requests for comment.

Cambridge Analytica: Everything you need to know about Facebook’s data mining scandal.

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