Facebook faces a record fine of £500,000 from Britain's data watchdog for failing to protect users whose data was obtained by Cambridge Analytica.

The regulator says Facebook broke the law, breaching the UK Data Protection Act twice.

United Kingdom investigators also questioned whether Facebook failed to maintain adequate safeguards to ensure other third-party app developers had not misused social data.

Because of the timing of the breaches, the ICO said it was unable to impose penalties that have since been introduced by the European General Data Protection, which would cap fines at 4.0 per cent of Facebook's global turnover.

The ICO investigation found that Facebook "contravened the law by failing to safeguard people's information" and didn't inform its users "about how their information was harvested by others".

It therefore will take the firm just over 15 minutes to make the money necessary to pay the fine.

"We are at a crossroads".

"We are fully cooperating with the investigation now under way by the Australian Privacy Commissioner and will review any additional evidence that is made available when the UK Office of the Information Commissioner releases their report", the spokeswoman said. The fine is mere petty cash as Facebook reportedly earned almost $6 billion profit in the first quarter this year. Facebook banned the company earlier this year, saying it had improperly received as many as 87 million user profiles leaked from its service.

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Meanwhile, the ICO has sent warning letters to 11 political parties, compelling them to agree to audits of their data protection practices.

USA regulators are still investigating Facebook's handling of consumer data and how it has worked with third-parties like Cambridge Analytica.

"Facebook has failed to provide the kinds of protections they're required to do under data protection laws", Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said on a call with reporters. 'New technologies that use data analytics to micro-target people give campaign groups the ability to connect with individual voters.

"Engagement with the electorate is vital to the democratic process; it is therefore understandable that political campaigns are exploring the potential of advanced data analysis tools to help win votes". We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation'.

Facebook will have the opportunity to respond to the commissioner before a final decision is made, something the company said it would do soon.

Facebook has been granted the opportunity to discuss the matter further with ICO before the penalty is finalised, and has indicated it will do so.

"The number of Facebook users affected by this kind of data scraping may be far greater than has now been acknowledged".