Earlier, Facebook said in a statement that over 100 Facebook and Instagram accounts were blocked on the eve of the US midterm elections amid concerns of possible foreign interference.
Britain’s Information Commissioner has raised the issue of Facebook to Ireland’s watchdog, which functions as the main authority for Facebook under Europe’s strict data law, condemning the manner that the social network targets and monitors its users, stressing that Facebook must undergo serious transformations and take increased responsibility in its handling of data, Reuters reported.
“Facebook needs to change, significantly change, their business model and their practices to maintain trust,” Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, told lawmakers at a parliamentary committee meeting on Tuesday.
Denham stated that Facebook has displayed some improvement, however, more efforts to increase responsibility were required.
In addition, Information Commissioner stated that it has referred “ongoing concerns about Facebook’s targeting functions and techniques that are used to monitor individuals’ browsing habits, interactions and behaviour across the internet and different devices to the Irish Data Protection Commission.”
Facebook will have to pay the highest existing fine of 500,000 pounds after misusing data. In addition, the Commissioner was referring other issues to Ireland.
The investigation into Facebook’s personal data handling has been launched by Britain’s Information Commissioner following accusations targeting the consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica, which was unlawfully gathering information from over 80 million users of the social network.
In addition, this year, Facebook’s chief found himself at the center of a firestorm that erupted after the personal information of up to 87 million Facebook users had been harvested without users’ permission and used for political purposes by the UK-based consultancy firm.
Zuckerberg was subsequently questioned by the US Congress and the European Parliament. He declined to appear before the UK parliament and sent less senior representatives instead. The founder of the world’s biggest social network apologized to Congress and called the data leak his own mistake, pledging to step up efforts to improve users’ privacy. MEPs pressed him on Facebook’s global influence and use of personal data, but Zuckerberg’s testimony left the European politicians disappointed, with some criticizing him for clamping down on the spread of fake news.