Ever since the case of Cambridge Analytica broke out, Facebook was accused of leveraging its platform for improper uses. This attracted the social media service billions of dollars already and is still continuing. Australian privacy regulator has just filed a lawsuit against Facebook for sharing personal details of over 300,000 Australians with Cambridge Analytica without the regulator’s knowledge.
The same old accusation
Australian Information Commission accused Facebook of sharing the personal details of 311,127 people with Cambridge Analytica, without their knowledge and consent. The now British defunct firm, Cambridge Analytica was previously accused of conducting surveys for collecting personal information and misusing them for political campaigns. Experts believed this firm has a lot to do with Donald Trump’s winning as president.
Now, under the name of “This Is Your Digital Life”, Facebook’s found helping Cambridge Analytica for political profiling in Australia. This led the privacy regulator to file a lawsuit in the Federal Court of Australia. The suit read,
“As a result, the Affected Australian Individuals’ personal information was exposed to the risk of disclosure, monetization and use for political profiling purposes. These breaches amounted to serious and/or repeated interferences with the privacy of the Australian Affected Individuals.”
What could happen?
Same as usual, penalty! Analysts believe the firm could be levied a hefty penalty, ranging from millions to billions of dollars. As the lawsuit has unspecified damages, we can assume the maximum penalty Facebook can face from Aussie regulators, that’s 1.7 million AUD (or $1.1 million). If this is levied per person in that compensation list, it could be 529 billion AUD! That’s around $350 billion, more than half of Facebook’s market capitalization!
After all, this wouldn’t be the case. Facebook dunked most of the penalties in the past, either by escaping completely or paying minimal amounts for huge breaches. We have seen such in the case of FTC, which fined the company for just $5 billion for the same privacy breaches.