Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has been referred by the UK information watchdog to the lead regulator under Europe’s data regime to look at how the social network targets, monitors and shows adverts to its users, according to Reuters
The UK Information Commissioner has been investigating the use of data analytics to influence politics after consultancy Cambridge Analytica obtained the personal data of 87mln Facebook users from a researcher.
The Reuters report noted that the UK watchdog said that as part of that inquiry, it had also found broader issues at Facebook, which it had referred to Ireland’s data regulator, the lead supervisor for the social network in the European Union.
Last month, the UK Commissioner slapped the highest possible fine of £500,000 ($653,800) on Facebook for the misuse of data but said on Tuesday, it was referring other outstanding issues to Ireland.
User accounts blocked
The report came as Reuters also said that Facebook had blocked about 115 user accounts after US authorities tipped it off to suspicious behaviour that may be linked to a foreign entity.
The news agency pointed out that the social media giant said in a blog post on Monday - hours before US voters headed to the polls for crucial mid-term elections – that it needed to do further analysis to decide if the accounts are linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency or another group.
It added the company said that 85 of the removed accounts were posting in English on Facebook’s Instagram service, and 30 more were on Facebook and associated with pages in French and Russian.
The US has accused the Russian government body of meddling in its politics with social media posts meant to spread disinformation.