Facebook faces U.K. fine over its privacy scandal

Facebook faces U.K. fine over its privacy scandal
Facebook faces U.K. fine over its privacy scandal

LONDON (AP) – Facebook is facing its first financial penalty for allowing the data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica to forage through the personal data of millions of unknowing Facebook users.

A U.K. government office announced its intention to fine Facebook 500,000 pounds ($663,000), the maximum possible, for failing to safeguard that user information.

The penalty is a pittance for Facebook. But it would represent the first tangible punishment for the company’s privacy scandal, which tarnished its reputation, temporarily pushed down its shares and forced CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress, but otherwise had few lasting repercussions.

Cambridge Analytica, a London firm financed by wealthy Republican Party donors, worked for the 2016 Trump campaign and for a while employed Steve Bannon, who managed President Donald Trump’s campaign and later became a White House adviser.

FILE – In this Tuesday, April 18, 2017, file photo, conference workers speak in front of a demo booth at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference, in San Jose, Calif. The chairman of the U.K. Parliament’s media committee says the government office that investigated the Cambridge Analytica scandal has fined Facebook 500,000 pounds ($663,000) for failing to safeguard users’ data. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)