The UK Information Commissioner's Office is threatening the company with the maximum penalty allowed, it said on Wednesday when issuing its first findings in a probe that looked at some 30 organisations, including social-media platforms such as Facebook.
Facebook will be put under more scrutiny by United Kingdom regulators involving evidence that copies of the data/parts of it also seem to have been share with other parties and on other systems beyond despite Cambridge Analyticas declaration that it had wiped all the data that it was asked to.
The regulator says Facebook broke the law, breaching the UK Data Protection Act twice.
Erin Egan, chief privacy officer at Facebook, said: "We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the U.S. and other countries. Trust and confidence in the integrity of our democratic processes risk being disrupted because the average voter has little idea of what is going on behind the scenes", Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a statement. The British agency said Facebook may have had a "missed opportunity" in 2014 to have thwarted Kogan's activities on the site. According to former Cambridge Analytica data scientist Christopher Wylie, a whistleblower, the firm aimed to construct psychographic profiles it could use to sway the votes of susceptible individuals. "But this can not be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law", she said in a statement.
The report also initiates the prosecution of SCL Elections Ltd, which is Cambridge Analytica's parent company, "for failing to properly deal with the ICO's Enforcement Notice".
Facebook, along with consultancy Cambridge Analytica, has been the focus of the investigation since February when evidence emerged that an app was used to harvest the data of 50 million Facebook users across the world.
"Facebook should now make the results of their internal investigations known to the ICO, our committee and other relevant investigatory authorities".
"We must change this fast as no-one should win elections using illegally obtained data", she said, adding: "We will now assess what can we do at the European Union level to make political advertising more transparent and our elections more secure".
The UK's data protection watchdog said the social media giant has failed to ensure Cambridge Analytica had deleted users' data.
The EU in May launched strict new data-protection laws allowing regulators to fine companies up to €20 million (US$24 million) or four percent of annual global turnover.
It said it would work with Slattery Lawyers to investigate whether the claim for compensation was possible.
"The number of Facebook users affected by this kind of data scraping may be far greater than has now been acknowledged".