London — Britain’s data regulator will fine Facebook £500,000 for failing to protect users’ data, in an inquiry into whether personal information was misused by campaigns on both sides of Britain’s 2016 Brexit referendum. An investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has focused on the social media giant since earlier this year, when evidence emerged that an app had been used to harvest the data of tens of millions of Facebook users worldwide. In a progress report early on Wednesday the watchdog said it plans to issue Facebook with the maximum fine available to it for breaches of the Data Protection Act. "The ICO’s investigation concluded that Facebook contravened the law by failing to safeguard people’s information," it said. The company "failed to be transparent about how people’s data was harvested by others", it said. Facebook has admitted that up to 87-million users may have had their data hijacked by British consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica, which was wor...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now