Facebook Slapped With Investigation From Australia’s Privacy Commission

Deauville, France - MAY 26, 2011 : Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg participates to a conference about web technologies during the french G8 in the north of France with the Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Hiroshi Mikitani, founder of Rakuten, the Businessman in advertising Maurice Levy and the Orange CEO Eric Richard.
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Australia’s Privacy Commission has launched a formal investigation into Facebook, following the announcement more than 300,000 local Facebook accounts were impacted by the recent data breach.

The move follows a blogpost from Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer on behalf of the social media giant which details the number of accounts on a global scale which were impacted by the Cambridge Analytica data breach.

Considering 311,127 Australian users had their information “improperly shared” with Cambridge Analytica, the Office of the Australia Information Commissioner (OAIS) sprung into action, releasing a statement on the website from acting Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk.

As per the statement from Falk, “The investigation will consider whether Facebook has breached the Privacy Act 1988(Privacy Act). Given the global nature of this matter, the OAIC will confer with regulatory authorities internationally.”

It continues, “All organisations that are covered by the Privacy Act have obligations in relation to the personal information that they hold. This includes taking reasonable steps to ensure that personal information is held securely, and ensuring that customers are adequately notified about the collection and handling of their personal information.”

Finishing, “This is a timely reminder to all organisations of the value of good privacy practice to Australians.”

Facebook Australia was quick to respond to the notice of investigation, releasing its own statement commenting on the situation.

“We are strongly committed to protecting people’s information, and we will be fully responsive to OAIC’s investigation,” it said.

“We’ve recently made significant updates to make our privacy tools easier to findrestrict data access on Facebook, and make our Terms and Data Policy clearer.”

“Overall, we believe these changes will better protect people’s information – we know we have more work to do, and we’ll keep our community updated as we make more changes,” it added.

B&T has contacted the OAIS for further comment.

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