Facebook referred to key EU regulator over targeting techniques


Facebook signs are seen during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Information Commissioner has referred Facebook to Ireland’s data watchdog, the lead authority for the social network under Europe’s strict data law, over issues regarding the way it targeted and monitored its users.

Britain’s Information Commissioner has been investigating how Facebook handled personal data after a consultancy Cambridge Analytica was accused of improperly harvesting information from around 87 million users on the social network.

The Commissioner has already slapped the highest possible fine of 500,000 pounds on Facebook for the misuse of data but said on Tuesday it was referring other outstanding issues to Ireland.

“We have referred our ongoing concerns about Facebook’s targeting functions and techniques that are used to monitor individuals’ browsing habits, interactions and behaviour across the internet and different devices to the to the Irish Data Protection Commission,” it said.

Ireland is the lead authority for Facebook under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a law brought in by the European Union in May to protect personal information in the age of the internet.

Britain’s Information Commissioner said it was aware that other regulators have looked at Facebook’s operations over the relevant period. It said it would work with the Irish regulator and other data authorities to develop a long-term strategy for addressing these issues.

Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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