Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has faced questioning by US and European Union lawmakers over how Cambridge Analytica improperly got hold of the personal data of 87 million Facebook users from a researcher.
The penalty from the United Kingdom data watchdog, called the Information Commissioner's Office, could change as the agency discusses the matter further with Facebook. Had the breach occurred after May this year, Facebook may have faced a far greater fine under the new data protection law, a maximum of 4pc of global turnover or €20m (£18m), whichever was highest.
Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by Donald Trump in 2016, has denied its work on the USA president's successful election campaign made use of data.
"As we have said before, we should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015", Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer, said in a statement sent to HuffPost.
Former Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix REUTERS/Henry Nicholls Facebook has a chance to respond to the ICO before a final decision is made on the fine.
British authorities also said Tuesday they are bringing a "criminal prosecution" against the parent company for SCL Elections Limited, for failing to respond to its enforcement notices.
"This can not by left to a secret internal investigation at Facebook".
In a statement issued in advance, information commissioner Elizabeth Denham warned that voters' faith in the political system was being eroded. "We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the USA and other countries". "We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the USA and other countries", she said.
Facebook faces a £500,000 ($665,000) fine from the UK's data protection watchdog, the ICO, for failing to protect netizens' info nor tell them how their data would be harvested by apps.
The U.K.'s probe adopted a wide lens, focusing not only on Facebook but the ecosystem of players - totaling 172 organizations and 285 individuals - involved in the collection and sale of data about web users for political purposes.
Mr Collins said his own committee will publish its interim report about disinformation and data use in political campaigns later this month. The company has said it plans to do so "soon". "It also found that the company failed to be transparent about how people's data was harvested by others".