General News

Australia prosecutes Facebook over Cambridge Analytica, and fine can reach to $529BN

Australia charges Facebook over Cambridge Analytica; fine can reach to $529BN. The secrecy watchdog of Australia is prosecuting Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica data break.

In 2018, it became a world-wide dishonor that wiped billions off the tech giant’s share price. Up till now, it runs to Facebook, picking up a $5BN FTC fine. If Australia succeeds in its suit against the tech massive, the monetary penalty can quickly increase.

According to Australia’s Privacy Act, there is a civil fine of more than $1,700,000 imposed per breaking. The national watchdog considers that Cambridge Analytica raised 311,074 local Facebook users in the hoard of ~86M profiles. The Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) mentions that they recorded complaints against Facebook in a central court. In this complaint, they claimed the company dedicated severe and frequent intrusions with privacy. It is against Australia’s Privacy Act 1988.

It further claims the data got revealed to the threat of being showed to Cambridge Analytica. And they will use it for political profiling purposes and sent it to other third parties. The app developer is known as GSR developed ‘This is Your Digital Life’ app. Cambridge Analytica appointed GSR to get route Facebook users’ data for political and target drives. 

This event happens on Facebook’s platform between March 2014 and May 2015. GSR, also performed with US political campaigns, like Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign and currently President Donald Trump. 

In a brief description summing up its legal action against Facebook, the OIAC inscribes:

Facebook disclosed the personal information of the Affected Australian Individuals. Most of those individuals did not install the “This Is Your Digital Life” App; their Facebook friends did. Unless those individuals undertook a complex process of modifying their settings on Facebook, their personal information was disclosed by Facebook to the “This Is Your Digital Life” App by default. Facebook did not adequately inform the Affected Australian Individuals of the manner in which their personal information would be disclosed, or that it could be disclosed to an app installed by a friend, but not installed by that individual.

Facebook failed to take reasonable steps to protect those individuals’ personal information from unauthorized disclosure. Facebook did not know the precise nature or extent of the personal information is disclosed to the “This Is Your Digital Life” App. Nor did it prevent the app from disclosing to third parties the personal information obtained. The full extent of the information disclosed, and to whom it was disclosed, accordingly cannot be known. What is known is that Facebook disclosed the Affected Australian Individuals’ personal information to the “This Is Your Digital Life” App. The developers sold personal information obtained using the app to the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, in breach of Facebook’s policies.

As a result, the Affected Australian Individuals’ personal information was exposed to the risk of disclosure, monetization, and use for political profiling purposes.

A Facebook representative sent this declaration:

We’ve actively engaged with the OAIC ( Office of the Australian Information Commissioner ) over the past two years as part of their investigation. We’ve made all the major changes to our platforms ( Facebook ), 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. We’re unable to comment further as this is now in front of the Federal Court.

Read how Google Play apps with 470k downloads can log in to your Facebook and Google accounts

About author


Morris is a Technology enthusiast and a writer by night. He has been a part of TheTechly for quite some time and he contributes knowledgeable news articles from the Technology niche.
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