Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Following data scandal fine in UK, Facebook may face penalty in Australia

Not just another Facebook data scandal Not just another Facebook data scandal
Deanna Wagner | 11 July, 2018, 10:25

Britain's information regulator said on Wednesday she intends to fine Facebook (FB.O) for breaches of data protection law as her office investigates how millions of users' data was improperly accessed by consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

"We have been working closely with the Information Commissioner's Office in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the U.S. and other countries".

In a statement the company said it had lodged a representative complaint with the Office of the Australia Information Commissioner (OAIC) that seeks compensation for "alleged breaches of the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1998".

In a statement issued in advance, information commissioner Elizabeth Denham warned that voters' faith in the political system was being eroded.

It is now estimated that a third-party app used by Cambridge Analytica to collect data from Facebook affected a total of 87m users around the world.

The survey results were allegedly used by election consultants Cambridge Analytica to target voters in USA elections, including Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

Facebook will get a chance to respond to the proposed penalties before the ICO releases a final decision.

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"As we have said before, we should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015", said Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer.

The watchdog also plans to bring criminal charges against Cambridge Analytica's defunct parent company SCL Elections. "We're reviewing the report and will respond to the ICO soon".

"The scandal took place before new European Union data protection laws that allow much larger fines came into force", the broadcaster says.

"The number of Facebook users affected by this kind of data scraping may be far greater than has now been acknowledged". "We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the USA and other countries". If other developers broke the law we have a right to know, and the users whose data may have been compromised in this way should be informed.

"It's an important moment for data protection", she added.

"We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the United States and other countries", Facebook's chief privacy officer Erin Egan added in a statement reported by the Post.