A charitable interpretation of what is happening here is that Facebook and the ICO are both at an impasse where their interests are best served by winning a quick victory that puts the subject to bed, instead of dereastruating themselves with remedies that could also have created new embarrassment. “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the OIC. As we have already said, we would have liked us to have done more in 2015 to investigate the Cambridge Analytica allegations. At the time, we made major changes to our platform and significantly limited the information that app developers can access,” Harry Kinmonth, Facebook`s chief executive and partner, said in a statement. “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the OIC. As we have already said, we would have liked us to have done more in 2015 to investigate the Cambridge Analytica allegations. We made big changes on our platform at the time, which greatly reduced the information that app developers were able to access. Protecting people`s information and privacy is a top priority for Facebook and we continue to put in place new controls to help people protect and manage their information. The OIC said it had found no evidence that facebook user data in the EU had been transferred by Dr Kogan to Cambridge Analytica. However, we look forward to continuing to work with the OIC`s broader and ongoing investigation into the use of data analysis for political purposes. The Commissioner believes that this agreement is in the best interests of all concerned in the UK who are Facebook users.
Both Facebook and ICO are committed to continuing to commit to complying with existing data protection legislation. Anna Benckert, associate general counsel for the company in Europe, said in a statement: “We said before we wished we had done more to investigate the allegations concerning Cambridge Analytica in 2015. At the time, we made significant changes to our platform and significantly limited the information that app developers can access. And we`re looking at all the historical applications that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform policies in 2014. The statement added that the protection of personal privacy and information was one of its top priorities, and “we look forward to continuing to cooperate with the OIC`s broader and ongoing investigation into the use of data analysis for political purposes.” On Wednesday, the U.S. Information Commissioner`s Office said an agreement had been reached with Facebook on the fine, but that the social network had “not made an admission of responsibility.” Both parties will also drop their complaints against each other and the agreement allows Facebook to retain documents disclosed by the OIC during the appeal for use in its own investigations against Cambridge Analytica. James Dipple-Johnstone, the ICO Assistant Commissioner, said in a statement that he “welcomed the agreement with Facebook.”