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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

A regulator in Britain could fine Facebook more than $660,000 over the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Why it matters: The fine is the first regulatory penalty for the social giant as a result of the data dustup. It may not be the last.

What they’re doing: The British Information Commissioner’s Office said it could fine Facebook 500,000 pounds, the maximum possible, for possible failures in how it handled the collection of data used by Cambridge Analytica. It also said the company might not have properly told users their data could be exposed.

  • Facebook, however, has a chance to respond to the allegations and proposed penalty.

What they’re saying: "As we have said before, we should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015," said Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, in a statement. "We're reviewing the report and will respond to the ICO soon."

Reality check: While it’s the maximum amount allowed under the law, the proposed fine of just over $660,000 likely won't make a large dent in the company's finances. Facebook brought in more than $11 billion in ad revenue during the first quarter of 2018 alone.

The big picture: The office’s investigation will continue. It stretches far beyond Facebook and Cambridge, to other aspects of the use of data in politics.

Go deeper

FBI report likely to show record increase in murders in 2020

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If the FBI data released next week shows what's expected — that 2020 saw the highest single-year spike in U.S. murders in at least six decades — experts say the sudden job losses, fears and other jolts to society at the start of COVID-19 will likely have been the overwhelming drivers.

Why it matters: Many Democrats already feared that rising crime could hurt their party in the 2022 midterms.

27 mins ago - Health

Some experts see signs of hope as COVID cases fall

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

New coronavirus cases are continuing to decline, and some experts are cautiously optimistic that the virus will continue to wane even into the fall and winter.

The big picture: The next few months are highly uncertain, and some localized outbreaks are all but guaranteed. But the U.S. is at least moving in the right direction again.

Air quality alerts issued as California fires threaten more sequoias

The Windy Fire blazes through the Long Meadow Grove of giant sequoia trees near the Trail of 100 Giants in Sequoia National Forest, near California Hot Springs, on Tuesday. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Two wildfires were threatening California's sequoia trees over overnight — hours after authorities issued fresh evacuation orders and warnings, along with air quality alerts.

The big picture: Air quality alerts were issued Wednesday for the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley as smoke from the Windy and KNP Complex fires resulted in hazy, "ash-filled" skies from Fresno to Tulare, the Los Angeles Times notes.