Australian lawsuit funder files complaint against Facebook, flags suit over privacy breaches


  • TECH
  • Tuesday, 10 Jul 2018

FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed Facebook like button is seen in front of the Facebook logo in this illustration taken October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

SYDNEY: Litigation funder IMF Bentham Ltd is preparing to potentially sue social media giant Facebook Inc in Australia over its sharing of users' data with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. 

The world's largest social network said in April that data of up to 87 million people ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, which was employed by Donald Trump's 2016 US presidential campaign. 

In Australia, more than 311,000 users data may have been used without authorisation, Facebook said in April, when Australia's Information Commissioner, the country's privacy regulator, began to investigate. 

IMF said it has complained to the Australian Information Commissioner alleging breaches of privacy laws over the data sharing. A class action lawsuit seeking compensation for users could follow depending on the regulator's response, IMF said. 

A Facebook spokeswoman did not comment directly on Tuesday on IMF's statement but said the company was “fully co-operating with the investigation currently underway by the Australian Privacy Commissioner”, using the former name of the Information Commissioner. 

The London-based consultancy Cambridge Analytica filed for bankruptcy in May and was unavailable for comment. It said previously that it deleted the data and did not use it in Trump's campaign. 

Facebook has faced widespread criticism from users and scrutiny around the world from regulators and lawmakers since news broke that users' data had been shared. It has also been sued. 

Nathan Landis, an investment manager at IMF Bentham, said the firm already had a prime litigant, a Sydney man who did not want to be identified. 

“There's just not that much precedent, certainly not for the sort of scale that we're talking about here,” he said, referring to the potential number of litigants. 

The information commissioner closes most investigations in a year, so IMF said it may be some time before it decides whether to pursue a lawsuit or not – with Landis adding it may wait for regulatory investigations in the European Union and Britain to conclude before making a move. — Reuters

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In Tech News

Telegram is not the ultimate privacy messenger you think it is
Apple's misleading claims of waterproof iPhones prompt fines in Italy
Could Twitter be the source of tomorrow's bestsellers?
US House Democrats adopt mobile Internet voting for leadership contests
Moscow launches online registration for Covid-19 vaccination
Ten years ago today, Groupon turned down Google’s US$6bil offer – here’s what’s happened since
Apple Pay targeted in Dutch antitrust probe into payment apps
Intern builds billion-dollar company inspired by mom’s comment
AI paintings of Chinese landscapes pass as human-made 55% of the time, research by Princeton student shows
Google scientist’s abrupt exit exposes rift in prominent AI unit

Stories You'll Enjoy