The fine - the maximum amount allowed - comes after revelations that as many as 87 million Facebook users had their data improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica, a digital consultancy with ties to the Trump campaign.
The UK Information Commissioner's Office on Tuesday announced a preliminary fine of 500,000 pounds ($664,000) after finding the social-media giant had failed to protect user data and wasn't transparent about how the user data was obtained by others. The ICO also hit Cambridge Analytica's defunct parent company, SCL Elections, with a criminal prosecution.
The penalty and resulting fine only comprise a small portion of the ICO's report, which initially was undertaken to investigate the misuse of data during the UK's European Union referendum (AKA, Brexit).
Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner, wrote in her accompanying report that Facebook should have done more to explain to its users why they were targeted for specific political advertisements or messaging.
Media Committee chairman Damian Collins commented: "Given that the ICO is saying that Facebook broke the law, it is essential that we now know which other apps that ran on their platform may have scraped data in a similar way". "Whilst these concerns about Facebook's advertising model exist generally in relation to its commercial use, they are heightened when these tools are used for political campaigning".
Facebook is facing its first financial penalty for allowing the data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica to forage through the personal data of millions of unknowing Facebook users.
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.
Facebook will address the proposed penalty before the watchdog makes a final ruling. 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.
David Carroll, an academic who is attempting to recover his data from Cambridge Analytica, said the report strengthened his legal challenge.
The Facebook probe is part of a wider investigation into the use of data in political campaigns, which the ICO launched past year, the interim results of which are out today.
Facebook learned of the infraction in 2015 but didn't inform the public.
The social media giant has said it has since identified 200 other apps which may have been used the same way, and is investigating. It's also about half of what the Spanish data protection authorities a year ago extracted from to the firm for privacy failings.