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Cambridge Analytica: Facebook fined 1 million Euro by the Italian Dpa

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Cambridge Analytica: Facebook fined 1 million Euro by the Italian Dpa

The Italian DPA (Garante per la protezione dei dati personali) fined Facebook 1 million Euro on account of breaches committed within the framework of the ‘Cambridge Analytica’ case – the latter being the company that had accessed data on 87 million users via a psychological testing app and had used such data to try and influence the US presidential elections in 2016.

The fine was imposed on the basis of the former Privacy Code; it follows up to the decision issued by the Garante in January this year to ban Facebook from further processing the data related to Italian users.

The Garante could establish that 57 Italians had downloaded the Thisisyourdigitallife app via Facebook’s login function; thanks to the sharing of data relating to ‘friends’ enabled by that function, the app had subsequently acquired data relating to additional 214,077 Italian users who had not downloaded the app in question, had not been informed of the sharing of their data and had not given their consent to such sharing. Accordingly, the Garante had found that Facebook had disclosed the data to the Thisisyourdigitallife app in breach of privacy legislation. However, the data had not been transmitted to Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook had been served by the Garante in March this year with a notice of commission of infringements, namely the failure to provide information, obtain consent and reply adequately to the Garante’s request for obtaining information and documents. Regarding those infringements, Facebook availed themselves of the possibility to terminate the fining procedure by paying a reduced amount fine of Euro 52,000.

However, the infringements concerning non-compliance with information and consent requirements had been committed in respect of an especially large, important database, in which case no reduced amount fine may be allowed. This is why the 1 million Euro fine was also imposed today by the Garante. In calculating the amount of the fine, account was taken of the size of the database as well as of Facebook’s economic status and the number of its users both worldwide and in Italy.

Rome, 28 June 2019