On 30 October 2019, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued a statement saying that Facebook and the ICO have settled their dispute over Facebook’s failure to protect app users’ personal data, some of which Cambridge Analytica (CA) used for micro-targeting of political adverts during the EU Referendum.
As part of the agreement, Facebook agreed to pay a £500,000 fine levied under the Data Protection Act 1998 but did not admit liability and was allowed to retain documents disclosed by the ICO during the appeal, for the purposes of its own internal investigations.
The High Court, in two similar defamation actions by the same claimant against Facebook UK (FBUK) and Google UK (GUK) respectively, has upheld previous decisions to strike out the claims and grant summary judgment to the defendants.
The Claimant sought damages for libel and for breach of her right to privacy, under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights, in respect of the publication of a Facebook profile and a posting on the Google Blogger service about her, both of which she alleged had been created by an impostor and were defamatory.
FBUK argued that it did not control user content on Facebook social media, saying that control rested with Facebook Inc and Facebook Ireland Ltd. GUK similarly argued that the Blogger site was under the control of Google Inc.
The High Court agreed that the defendants were not responsible for the publications and that the claimant had taken action against the wrong parties.