In another blow to embattled Facebook, British and US lawyers have launched a class action lawsuit against the social media giant, along with Cambridge Analytica and two other companies for allegedly misusing the data of over 87 million people.
Over the last few weeks we’ve been blogging about the data “sharing” scandal that has rocked Facebook, and has lead to a boycott of the popular social media site, and sent CEO Mark Zuckerberg to face the music on Capitol Hill.
In case you’d missed the story (which you can read about here, here and here), Facebook estimated 87 million people globally, including 300,000 Australians, had their data shared with Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy firm used by US President Donald Trump in his 2016 election campaign.
By Cameron Abbott and Georgia Mills
News of Facebook’s involvement in the United States’ elections is nothing new, especially with the ongoing Cambridge Analytica scandal, so it should come as little surprise that the social media giant has extended its reach into the Australian electoral sphere.
Facebook approached Australia’s major political parties during the 2016 Federal election offering a powerful data matching tool. This “advanced matching” tool would allow parties to match data they had collected about voters- including names, dates of birth, contact details, and postcodes- against similar information provided by users on their Facebook profiles. The combined data would allow parties to identify swinging voters and target them with tailored ads when they use Facebook.