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Australia also investigates Facebook following data scandal

Facebook is set for a grilling by Australian authorities too.Facebook is set for a grilling by Australian authorities too.

Image: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook might be getting a "booting" Down Under.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) announced on Thursday it would open a formal investigation into the social media giant to see if it has breached Australia's privacy laws. 

It follows news the personal information of 300,000 Australian Facebook users "may have been acquired and used without authorisation" as part of the Cambridge Analytica scandal that affected 87 million.

OAIC said it would work with foreign authorities on the investigation, "given the global nature of the matter." 

"This is a timely reminder to all organisations of the value of good privacy practice to Australians," acting Australian privacy commissioner Angelene Falk said in a statement online. 

"Organisations should regularly and proactively assess their information-handling practices to ensure that they are both compliant with privacy laws and in keeping with community expectations."

Next door, New Zealand's privacy office accused Facebook of breaching its privacy laws last week, after the company failed to hand over what information it holds about a certain group of users. Facebook said the request was overly broad, hence its decision to deny access.

The news also comes as CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he'd extend the EU's data privacy protections, the General Data Protection Regulation, to all users across the globe — despite initial reports the company wouldn't.

Topics: Australia, big-tech-companies, cambridge-analytica, Facebook, privacy, Tech
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Thursday, 19 April 2018

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