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

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 148387

Reported Deaths: 3769
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto9874101
Hinds9821198
Harrison6982110
Jackson6218119
Rankin5417102
Lee498495
Madison4711106
Forrest375086
Jones352488
Lauderdale3412145
Lafayette319749
Washington3153107
Lamar286349
Oktibbeha243562
Bolivar240884
Lowndes232864
Neshoba2189118
Panola218849
Marshall211950
Leflore203490
Pontotoc199128
Monroe196077
Sunflower191055
Lincoln187865
Warren174157
Tate166951
Union165325
Pike160958
Copiah160440
Yazoo152939
Scott151829
Itawamba151134
Coahoma149543
Pearl River149467
Alcorn148228
Simpson146353
Prentiss143730
Adams139250
Grenada138845
Leake133243
Holmes127861
Tippah123730
George123524
Covington120938
Winston120024
Hancock117639
Wayne116923
Marion114846
Attala111234
Tishomingo108742
Chickasaw106932
Newton104229
Tallahatchie96727
Clay89927
Clarke89153
Jasper81722
Walthall76028
Stone75214
Calhoun73713
Montgomery72825
Carroll71415
Lawrence70714
Yalobusha70527
Smith70316
Noxubee70017
Perry65826
Tunica60219
Greene59722
Claiborne57916
Jefferson Davis56017
Humphreys53119
Amite52714
Benton49017
Quitman4846
Webster42314
Kemper42118
Wilkinson38722
Jefferson34711
Franklin3345
Choctaw3157
Sharkey30817
Issaquena1144
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 241957

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31809500
Mobile19651361
Madison12964148
Tuscaloosa12946154
Montgomery12263236
Shelby1016177
Baldwin857698
Lee771866
Morgan648050
Calhoun6215119
Etowah618266
Marshall618255
Houston522438
DeKalb480436
Cullman433442
Limestone418645
St. Clair413655
Elmore403764
Lauderdale396754
Walker3620111
Talladega347954
Jackson311723
Colbert306042
Blount287940
Autauga270442
Franklin250233
Coffee242015
Dale231754
Dallas225232
Russell22123
Chilton220638
Covington218034
Escambia197931
Chambers176450
Tallapoosa175491
Pike158114
Clarke157619
Marion137136
Winston131123
Lawrence126336
Pickens121618
Geneva12108
Marengo120224
Barbour117010
Bibb117017
Butler115341
Randolph101921
Cherokee101024
Hale96031
Clay91024
Washington90719
Fayette89316
Henry8526
Lowndes79429
Monroe78311
Cleburne76914
Macon73022
Crenshaw70930
Bullock69419
Conecuh68314
Perry6836
Lamar6678
Wilcox63118
Sumter57522
Greene42318
Choctaw42113
Coosa3414
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