Earlier this year, Facebook was rocked by a scandal that would’ve devastated a smaller company that hadn’t found a way to work its grubby fingers into every aspect of our lives, as a whistleblower revealed that a company called Cambridge Analytica had stolen the personal data of 87 million Facebook users for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign—a breach Facebook knew about and had done essentially nothing to prevent. Mark Zuckerberg had to testify in front of Congress, and Facebook put out a sappy commercial that carefully avoided taking any responsibility for what happened, but that was the only comeuppance the site had faced… until now.
The chickens have finally come home to roost, at least in the U.K., as the British government has officially hit Facebook with a fine of about $663,000 for violating the country’s privacy laws. Of course, Facebook can make that much money back in just seven minutes, so this can barely even be considered a slap on the wrist. It’s more like someone gently tickling your wrist in a way that is annoying, but doesn’t actually impact your life very much.
That comes from The Hollywood Reporter, which notes that Facebook is still under investigation by a few other entities in Europe as well as the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. and (supposedly) the FBI and SEC, but it seems likely that this tickle on the wrist will be the harshest penalty Facebook gets from this Cambridge Analytica mess. That’s just the way things seem to go these days.