Social Media

Australia sues Facebook, alleges breach of user data

Reuters Sydney | Updated on March 09, 2020 Published on March 09, 2020

‘Actively’ engaged with regulator, made major changes to platform: FB

The Australian privacy regulator filed a lawsuit against Facebook Inc, accusing the social media giant of sharing the personal details of more than 300,000 people with political consultant Cambridge Analytica without their knowledge.

In the Federal Court lawsuit, the Australian Information Commissioner accused Facebook of breaching privacy law by disclosing 311,127 users’ information for political profiling via a survey product, ‘This Is Your Digital Life’, on its website.

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

The suit sought unspecified damages, adding that each breach of privacy law could draw a maximum penalty of A$1.7 million ($1.1 million).

The fine would amount to A$529 billion if the court awarded the maximum for each of the 311,127 instances.

A Facebook spokeswoman said the company had engaged ”actively” with the Office of the Information Commissioner over the past two years as part of the investigation. “We’ve made major changes to our platforms, in consultation with international regulators, to restrict the information available to app developers, implement new governance protocols and build industry-leading controls to help people protect and manage their data,” she said in a statement.

“Were unable to comment further as this is now before the Federal Court.”

Published on March 09, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Sincerely,

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.