Friday, 24 April 2020 10:05

Information Commissioner gets go-ahead to sue Facebook US and Ireland Featured

Information Commissioner gets go-ahead to sue Facebook US and Ireland Pixabay

The Australian Information Commissioner has been given the green light by the Federal Court to sue Facebook Inc (the US company) and Facebook Ireland for allegedly violating the privacy of Australians in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The Federal Court granted leave for this move on Wednesday, saying, "the material demonstrates a genuine argument about contravention, sufficient to justify causing the respondents to be subject to the litigation in Australia where the merit of that argument can be judicially determined".

Proceedings were initiated against the two Facebook entities in March, with the allegation that serious and/or repeated interferences had been committed with privacy in contravention of Australian privacy law.

Later, the commissioner sought leave to serve the initiating court documents on Facebook.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal occurred nearly two years ago and at the time it was revealed that personal details of 311,027 Australians were among the data of 87 million users of Facebook that leaked to the voter-profiling company.

At the time, Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk issued a statement saying that an investigation would be undertaken to find out if Facebook violated the Australian privacy act.

On Wednesday, Falk welcomed the Court’s ruling and said this opened the way for the case to move forward to the substance of the proceedings.

The court's judgment can be viewed here.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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