Jul 10, 2018

UK regulator moves toward fining Facebook over Cambridge Analytica

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.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,094,068 — Total deaths: 58,773 — Total recoveries: 225,519Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 273,880 — Total deaths: 7,077 — Total recoveries: 9,521Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: Wisconsin's governor called for a last-minute primary election delay. "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said on the 2020 election, as more states hold primaries by mail.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: The amount of gas American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows. Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil.
  7. Tech updates: Twitter will allow ads containing references to the coronavirus under certain use cases.
  8. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Senators call for independent investigation into firing of Navy captain.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Government will cover uninsured patients' coronavirus treatment

Azar at Friday's briefing. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The federal government will cover the costs of coronavirus treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a White House briefing Friday.

How it works: The money will come from a $100 billion pot set aside for the health care industry in the most recent stimulus bill. Providers will be paid the same rates they get for treating Medicare patients, and as a condition of those payments, they won't be allowed to bill patients for care that isn't covered.

More states issue stay-at-home orders as coronavirus crisis escalates

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a stay-at-home order on Friday as the novel coronavirus pandemic persists. The order goes into effect Saturday at 5 p.m. and will remain in place through April 30. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson also issued a statewide social distancing order on Friday.

The big picture: In a matter of weeks, the number of states that issued orders nearly quadrupled, affecting almost 300 million Americans.

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