Britain's Information Commissioner has referred Facebook to Ireland's data watchdog, the lead authority for the social network under Europe's strict data law, over issues regarding the way it targeted and monitored its users.

Britain's Information Commissioner has been investigating how Facebook handled personal data after a consultancy Cambridge Analytica was accused of improperly harvesting information from around 87 million users on the social network.

The Commissioner has already slapped the highest possible fine of £500,000 (€572,000) on Facebook for the misuse of data but said it was referring other outstanding issues to Ireland.

"We have referred our ongoing concerns about Facebooks targeting functions and techniques that are used to monitor individuals browsing habits, interactions and behaviour across the internet and different devices to the to the Irish Data Protection Commission," it said.

Ireland is the lead authority for Facebook under the Genera lData Protection Regulation (GDPR), a law brought in by the European Union in May to protect personal information in the age of the internet.

Britain's Information Commissioner said it was aware that other regulators have looked at Facebook's operations over the relevant period.

It said it would work with the Irish regulator and other data authorities to develop a long-term strategy for addressing these issues.

The Data Protection Commission has said once it has received the referral it will assess the information and decide then what steps are required.

"We cannot comment any further until that time", it said in a statement.