The Australian Information Commissioner has launched legal proceedings against Facebook, accusing the company of repeated breaches of privacy law.
Facebook allegedly used the personal information of 311,127 Australians, collected through the app This is Your Digital Life, for purposes other than advertised, including disclosing it for political profiling.
“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,” said Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk in a statement.
“Facebook’s default settings facilitated the disclosure of personal information, including sensitive information, at the expense of privacy.
“We claim these actions left the personal data of around 311,127 Australian Facebook users exposed to be sold and used for purposes including political profiling, well outside users’ expectations.”
If the lawsuit is successful, the court could impose a penalty of A$1,700,000 ($1.1 million) per instance. Should Facebook face the maximum penalty for all 311,127 instances, the total fine would be A$529 billion.