Data protection lawyer responds after Information Commissioner's Office finds Facebook broke the law over how individual's data was misused

A leading data protection lawyer has said that Facebook could face over one million legal claims from UK users, totalling many hundreds of million pounds in compensation, after the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said the social media giant broke the law by failing to safeguard people's information.

Sean Humber, a data protection lawyer at Leigh Day said that those affected have good claims for compensation against Facebook for breach of the Data Protection Act and called for Facebook to set up a compensation fund for the millions affected or face legal action in the High Court from those whose data was misused.

The ICO has also announced it proposes to bring criminal action against the parent company of Cambridge Analytica (CA), SCL Elections, as the ICO ruled that Facebook had failed to be transparent about how people's data was harvested by other companies.

Leigh Day have confirmed that they are particularly keen to establish whether personal information may have been used for political purposes, including in the 2016 EU Referendum.

Cambridge Analytica have stated that they received the information in good faith from a reputable academic, it was deleted after they became aware it had not been obtained in line with Facebook’s terms of service and that they did no work on the EU Referendum.

Sean Humber said: “The ICO’s intention to fine Facebook the absolute maximum amount possible confirms the seriousness of their failings. Users had a right to expect Facebook to operate in a transparent way and keep their information safe.

“This clearly did not happen and those affected are now entitled to know exactly what happened to their information as well as compensation for this misuse. Facebook could easily be facing a bill running into the hundreds of millions of pounds.”