After Facebook revealed that a number of Australian users were involved in the Cambridge Analytica leak, the government has launched into action. Game on.
In a fashion befitting this country, it seems we’re getting on an American fad a smidge too late. This afternoon, acting privacy and information commissioner Angelene Falk has announced that her office will probe Facebook on the basis that a number of Australians had their data “improperly shared” by those of Cambridge Analytica.
This announcement comes alongside Facebook releasing a report today that indicates 87 million users were affected by the leak, far more than the 50 million first estimated by Facebook, and the 30 million guesstimated by Cambridge Analytica.
Of that number, 311,000 possess a passport with a kangaroo on it.
— ABC News (@abcnews) 5 April 2018
Announcing the investigation via a statement, Ms Falk said: “Today I have opened a formal investigation into Facebook, following confirmation from Facebook that the information of over 300,000 Australian users may have been acquired and used without authorisation…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.”
The above law requires parties to take reasonable steps to safeguard personal information and be transparent about the collection and handling of.
For those playing at home, the 300k addled puts Australia in the top ten of countries affected by the leak, admittedly well behind the estimated 1.2 million users engineered in the Phillippines, Indonesia and Britain, and certainly well below the mind-boggling 70 million in the US.
But still, we’re involved, and while we might be late to the party, the baseball cap of our assumption has been significantly skewed by the actions of Cambridge Analytica.
Just like the cool kids.