UK refers Facebook to EU watch dog over fake political ads

UK refers Facebook to EU watch dog over fake political ads
© Greg Nash

The United Kingdom’s information chief is calling on European regulators to probe Facebook over its ad targeting practices.

Britain’s Information Commissioner had been investigating Facebook after it improperly obtained data from 87 million users as part of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The body said on Tuesday that it had found other issues relating to fake political advertisements which it flagged to Ireland’s data regulator which supervises Facebook in the European Union, reports Reuters.

Facebook says that it believes it is not in violation of EU rules.

“We regularly engage with regulators regarding our advertising tools, which we believe fully comply with EU data protection laws,” a Facebook spokesperson told Reuters.

The recommendations come after the recent implementation of new data protection rules in Europe called the Global Data Protection Regulation.

The regulations provide a more stringent set of rules for companies like Facebook to follow and they can potentially be fined much more heavily for violating them.

The company is also facing scrutiny in the U.S. In the lead up to the midterm elections on Tuesday, journalists and researchers have found hoax political content and conspiracies on Facebook and the company's image sharing app, Instagram.

On Monday night, Facebook revealed that it had uncovered a new coordinated group of accounts that were in engaged in "suspicious" activity.