Even years after the fact, Facebook continues to deal with the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal. This week, the Australian information watchdog announced that it will sue the social media giant for what it says were serious interferences with user privacy. If successful, the suit could hit Facebook with a maximum fine of $1.1 million for every user affected by the breach.
According to Australian officials, Facebook compromised the information of over 300,000 users in the country. The data included names, dates of birth, email addresses, location, page likes and more.
“We consider the design of the Facebook platform meant that users were unable to exercise reasonable choice and control about how their personal information was disclosed,” Australian information commissioner Angelene Falk said. “Facebook’s default settings facilitated the disclosure of personal information, including sensitive information, at the expense of privacy.”
Of course, Falk’s first point is the true issue here. Facebook is designed specifically to ensure users’ data is collected, and in as large of quantities as possible. In this case, it fell into the wrong hands. But without shady data brokers like Cambridge Analytica, Facebook’s data and privacy systems are working exactly as they’re supposed to.
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