Australia launches investigation into Facebook over data scandal

Australia has launched a formal investigation into Facebook after the company revealed information about hundreds of ...

Posted: Apr 5, 2018 1:45 PM
Updated: Apr 5, 2018 1:45 PM

Australia has launched a formal investigation into Facebook after the company revealed information about hundreds of thousands of Australians was potentially exposed to data research firm Cambridge Analytica.

The investigation will examine whether the social media giant breached Australia's privacy laws, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) said Thursday.

"Given the global nature of this matter, the OAIC will confer with regulatory authorities internationally," Angelene Falk, the country's acting information and privacy commissioner, said in a statement.

Related: Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress twice next week

Facebook revealed on Wednesday that data from 87 million of its users "may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica," far higher than the 50 million estimated by initial reports.

A little over 300,000 of those users were in Australia, the company said in a blog post. The vast majority of the affected users -- around 70 million -- were in the United States.

Millions more users were potentially affected in other countries including the Philippines, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, India, Brazil and Vietnam.

Indonesia's communications minister, Rudiantara, warned earlier this week that he could go as far as shutting down Facebook in the country over the data scandal. The Indonesian government didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter Thursday.

Cambridge Analytica, which worked on President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, disputed the numbers disclosed by Facebook, saying in a statement that it "licensed data for no more than 30 million people" from an independent scientist who collected it.

"We did not receive more data than this," the firm said.

Facebook said Thursday that it had not authorized Cambridge Analytica to access the user data, which was gathered by an app created by the independent scientist.

Facebook friends of users who downloaded the scientist's app may have been affected, according to the company. In India, for example, only 335 people installed the app, but the data of more than 560,000 people may have been exposed.

Related: Security on Facebook is 'never-ending battle,' Zuckerberg says

India's technology minister said last month that "any data theft of Indians ... shall not be tolerated." The Indian government didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Facebook also continues to face the fallout from the scandal in the United States. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify in front of two separate US congressional panels next week.

The company plans to notify individual users whose data may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica by April 9.

-- Carly Walsh and Huizhong Wu contributed to this report

Huntsville/Redstone
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 43°
Muscle Shoals
Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 51°
Huntsville/Madison
Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 44°
Decatur
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 43°
Fort Payne
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 36°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 424028

Reported Deaths: 6121
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62258921
Mobile30381549
Madison27160186
Tuscaloosa20779267
Montgomery19049305
Shelby18572114
Baldwin16346182
Lee12515101
Morgan12260113
Etowah11757168
Calhoun11161200
Marshall10199107
Houston8630148
Cullman8036105
Limestone802874
Elmore7849101
DeKalb768897
Lauderdale760083
St. Clair7555120
Talladega6180108
Walker5903174
Jackson581341
Colbert533573
Blount530883
Autauga519855
Coffee443956
Dale398581
Franklin367548
Chilton337665
Russell331710
Covington327768
Escambia319342
Dallas303396
Chambers284269
Clarke282133
Tallapoosa2617107
Pike249429
Marion246250
Lawrence244247
Winston227335
Bibb216247
Geneva202535
Marengo199729
Pickens197031
Hale176442
Barbour173036
Butler170258
Fayette169026
Cherokee160530
Henry154421
Monroe145617
Randolph140735
Washington137726
Clay126745
Crenshaw119544
Lamar118219
Cleburne117723
Macon115035
Lowndes110735
Wilcox103121
Bullock99128
Perry97719
Conecuh94420
Sumter89126
Greene76123
Coosa60515
Choctaw51524
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 687751

Reported Deaths: 8430
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby765191128
Davidson70950665
Knox38829400
Hamilton34687327
Rutherford33228285
Unassigned22839126
Williamson21449140
Sumner18262232
Out of TN1618380
Montgomery14450149
Wilson14449157
Sullivan12606211
Blount11914125
Washington11911191
Maury10962123
Bradley1079191
Sevier10495108
Putnam9952136
Madison9131179
Robertson764585
Hamblen6990109
Anderson6792103
Greene6598108
Tipton621065
Gibson5639111
Coffee562882
Cumberland540072
Dickson536378
Bedford532589
Roane521279
Carter5109112
Lawrence508969
McMinn508573
Warren498753
Loudon495550
Jefferson477975
Dyer474982
Monroe457162
Hawkins446268
Franklin412161
Obion399679
Fayette397851
Rhea382456
Lincoln379444
Marshall345436
Cocke343856
Weakley339948
Cheatham336230
Henderson333057
Campbell324540
Giles321772
White311343
Carroll310459
Hardeman309452
Hardin298147
Lauderdale293731
Macon288850
Wayne261319
Henry260858
Overton253843
DeKalb242341
Haywood239845
McNairy238642
Smith231327
Trousdale228814
Marion228431
Scott225431
Hickman223534
Fentress212831
Claiborne212729
Grainger209035
Johnson201832
Morgan189015
Crockett180738
Bledsoe174210
Chester173837
Unicoi167043
Cannon157719
Lake155519
Decatur147326
Polk143617
Union139422
Grundy139321
Sequatchie137118
Humphreys132817
Benton132135
Lewis127520
Meigs114416
Stewart105520
Jackson104021
Perry94725
Clay93926
Houston93922
Moore8009
Pickett67919
Van Buren6607
Hancock4056

Community Events