Australia Sues Facebook Over Cambridge Analytica Data Breach Scandal

👤by Michael Pabia Comments 📅09.03.2020 17:16:02

Australia’s privacy watchdog filed a lawsuit against Facebook over the alleged breach of user data of more than 300,000 Australians for Cambridge Analytica without their knowledge. The Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal started in early 2018 that revealed Cambridge Analytica harvested personal data of Facebook users worldwide without their consent. Australian Information Commissioner, Angelene Falk, filed the lawsuit against Facebook at the Federal Court today saying Facebook exposed data of 311,127 Australians.

The harvested data was sold to the consultants of Cambridge Analytica which was deemed used for political profiling. Cambridge Analytica served clients including U.S. President Donald Trump’s election team and Leave campaign in the UK Brexit. The organization registered business in Australia after Trump’s election but was not used by any of Australia’s political parties. The lawsuit seeks a maximum penalty of AU$1.7m per person, approximately £870,000 per person). With this, Facebook is facing an AU$529 billion fine (£266 billion) if the court awarded the maximum civil penalty for each of the people affected.

"The design of the Facebook platform meant that users were unable to exercise reasonable choice and control about how their personal information was disclosed," Falk said in a statement.

"Facebook's default settings facilitated the disclosure of personal information, including sensitive information, at the expense of privacy."

Facebook has 21 days to amend the settlement and submit a sworn statement explaining whether each commitment in the proposed settlement is unique.

Sources: Reuters, The Register

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