The Information Commissioner of Australia, Angelene Falk sues Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) for compromising the privacy of more than 300,000 people in Australia. According to the filing in the Australian Federal Court on Monday, Facebook committed repeated and serious interferences to the privacy of the Australians, violating the privacy law in place.
Facebook passes on sensitive information
Facebook has collected the privacy information of Australians and forwarded the same to Cambridge Analytica’s ‘This is your digital life app.’ Cambridge Analytica will use this information for political profiling in contravention of the privacy law. The collected data comprises names, city location, and date of birth, page likes, email addresses, friends list, and Facebook messages.
Falk said the department opines that the Facebook platform does not offer a choice to the users on how they can control their personal information and share. The default settings in Facebook disclose personal information that comprises sensitive information and violates privacy.
311,127 Australians shared data with the app
According to the revelations by Facebook, 311,127 Australians shared their details with ‘This is your digital life app’ between March 2014 and May 2015. The data breach has affected 0.4% of Facebook users in Australia. According to the documents available with the court, just 53 Australians have installed the app. The Cambridge scandal has affected 87 million users across the world.
What OAIC say?
According to the lawsuit, Facebook settings do not provide a choice to the users what to share and what not to share. They have no idea on how their data is shared. Facebook is unable to inform the OAIC about how many users in Austria are affected by the privacy breach.
According to the revelations of Observer and The Guardian, Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics company, worked with the election team of Donald Trump and the UK Brexit referendum’s Leave campaign. The company has developed software that uses the data to predict and influence the voters. Facebook says it received the information in 2015 that a third party has harvested the data. It has failed to alert the users about the data breach. Facebook could face a penalty of $1.7 million for each contravention.