Facebook is being sued by the Australian government for allegedly violating the country’s privacy laws, with requested damages potentially reaching $529 billion. The Cambridge Analytica data scandal may have been years ago now, but its effects still linger on.
According to the suit filed to the Australian Federal Court on Monday, Facebook violated the privacy of approximately 311,127 Australians by disclosing their personal information to the This is Your Digital Life app between March 2014 and May 2015. The developers of the app sold personal information to Cambridge Analytica, which used it for political profiling.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner alleges that Facebook “failed to take reasonable steps to protect those individuals’ personal information from unauthorised disclosure,” and further disclosed said information for a purpose other than that for which it had been collected. Both are violations of Australia’s Privacy Act 1988.
“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 and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk said in a press release.