Privacy Commission launches Facebook inquiry

Privacy Commission launches Facebook inquiry

Australia’s Information and Privacy Commission will formally investigate how social media site Facebook allowed the information of more than 311,000 Australians to be shared with British research firm Cambridge Analytica without their permission.

Acting Australian Information Commissioner and acting Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk announced the inquiry following Facebook’s admission that the number of people affected worldwide could be as many as 87 million people, rather than the 50 million first stated – and that Australians were included.

“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,” Ms Falk said.

“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.”

From April 9, users will receive a notice at the top of their news feed as to whether they were affected.