Facebook is in legal trouble over privacy issues, for the umpteenth time. Australia’s privacy watchdog is dragging Facebook to court over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which leaked data of as many as 87 million people all over the world.
As a consequence, the social media giant was imposed with a $5 billion fine by FTC for the scandal, which is one of the biggest fines ever imposed on a tech company.
However, Australia’s stringent privacy laws could cause even a heftier fine on social media giant, if imposed, could scale up to $529 billion, which is nearly 8 times last year’s revenue of the company.
According to Australia’s Privacy Acts, a fine of up to $1,700,000 could be imposed per data breach offense. Australian privacy watchdogs believe that data of 311,074 local Facebook accounts were affected in the CA scandal; therefore, the fine could be approximately $529 billion.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) wrote a statement on its website, stating that Facebook failed to inform the affected Australian users about the leakage of personal data. The statement also mentions that the company “failed to take reasonable steps to protect those individuals’ personal information from unauthorized disclosure.”
Commenting on the statement, Australia’s privacy commissioner Angelene Falk blamed upon the design of Facebook, which didn’t allow users to make a reasonable choice for controlling the privacy of their personal data on the platform.
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If Australia succeeds in its attempt to make Facebook pay the gobsmacking amount, it would be a lesson for other companies to start taking users’ privacy sternly.