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UK’s data protection watchdog has fined Facebook £500,000 for its role in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said Facebook had let a “serious breach” of the law take place.

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The fine is the maximum allowed under the old data protection rules that applied before GDPR took effect in May.

The ICO said Facebook had given app developers access to people’s data “without clear consent”.

In July, the ICO notified the social network that it intended to issue the maximum fine.

Confirming the fine, it said in a statement: “Between 2007 and 2014, Facebook processed the personal information of users unfairly by allowing application developers access to their information without sufficiently clear and informed consent, and allowing access even if users had not downloaded the app, but were simply ‘friends’ with people who had.”

“Facebook also failed to keep the personal information secure because it failed to make suitable checks on apps and developers using its platform.”

Facebook said it was “reviewing” the ICO’s decision.

“While we respectfully disagree with some of their findings, we have said before that we should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and taken action in 2015,” it said in a statement.