Facebook is facing its first monetary fine related to the Cambridge Analytica controversy, which rocked the social giant earlier this year.
As part of its broader probe into industrywide privacy violations, the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office threatened on Wednesday to hit Facebook with a fine of $664,000.
“The ICO has issued Facebook with a Notice of Intent to issue a monetary penalty in the sum [$664,000] for lack of transparency and security issues relating to the harvesting of data constituting breaches of the first and seventh data-protection principles under the Data Protection Act 1998,” the Commissioner’s Office notes in a new report.
Largely symbolic, the figure represents the maximum penalty that the ICO can impose. The ICO also noted that issuing such a public notice is not standard practice.
“Our policy on Communicating Regulatory Actions makes clear that while we would not normally publish a Notice of Intent, we may do so where there is an overriding public interest,” it explains in the report.
The ICO said it has invited Facebook to respond with “representations,” which may attempt to explain its past actions. The response is due later this month. Before that time, the ICO said it is reserving its final view on the merits of its case against the U.S. tech titan.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Facebook has yet to respond to the threat. To date, however, company management has sought to express its profound regret over the Cambridge Analytica fiasco.
Following his initial silence on the matter, CEO Mark Zuckerberg ultimately admitted that Facebook “didn’t do enough” to protect its enormous community from data vultures, purveyors of fake news and other bad actors.
Despite its professed contrition, Facebook is still under scrutiny from a host of powerful actors.
Indeed, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Justice Department and the FBI are all reportedly&a mp;a mp;n bsp;investigating Facebook’s connection to Cambridge Analytica.
Echoing Facebook’s more conservative critics, a coalition of left-leaning organizations recently&a mp;a mp;n bsp;began lobbying the government to break up the company.