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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

37 mins ago - Health

U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record

Expand chart
Data: COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

The United States reported 88,452 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, setting a single-day record, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The country confirmed 1,049 additional deaths due to the virus, and there are over 46,000 people currently being hospitalized, suggesting the U.S. is experiencing a third wave heading into the winter months.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. Sports: MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
  5. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

The norms around science and politics are cracking

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Crafting successful public health measures depends on the ability of top scientists to gather data and report their findings unrestricted to policymakers.

State of play: But concern has spiked among health experts and physicians over what they see as an assault on key science protections, particularly during a raging pandemic. And a move last week by President Trump, via an executive order, is triggering even more worries.