Tag: Cambridge Analytica

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This is your digital life (of no consent or control): The Australian Information Commissioner takes Facebook to Court
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New Decade, New Facebook? Facebook Reaches $550 Million Settlement in Facial Recognition Class Action, Agrees to Upgrade Privacy Safeguards
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“Totally Clueless”: Dating app Grindr reported for breach of privacy rules
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You Can’t Throw the (Face)Book at Them: Affected Users Unable to Pursue Damages Claim against Facebook
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Double-Edged Sword: Cambridge Analytica Whistle-Blower exposes the dual nature of Technology
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Hyp3r-misappropriation of data gets Instagram’s attention, but is enough being done?
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UK Information Commissioner Orders Cambridge Analytica to Hand Over American’s Personal Data
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Facebook’s Potential $70 billion Legal Challenge
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Was your Facebook data taken by Cambridge Analytica? Here’s how to find out
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Facebook’s privacy breach puts spotlight on Australian election campaigns

This is your digital life (of no consent or control): The Australian Information Commissioner takes Facebook to Court

By Cameron Abbott, Rob Pulham and Rebecca Gill

In a first for Australia, the Australian Information Commissioner (Commissioner) has launched proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia, seeking penalties against Facebook for serious and/or repeated interferences with privacy. The contraventions relate to the conduct disclosed by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved the This is Your Digital Life app (App). We’ve previously blogged about the App here.

It is unclear how the penalties will be calculated in this proceeding. The penalty rate applicable to the relevant period (being from March 2014 to May 2015) is a maximum of $1.7 million. Some have suggested that fines may be in the billions if the maximum rate is applied to each individual affected as a single “contravention” (with possibly over 300,000 contraventions in total!). This may be fun to calculate, but highly unlikely to be applied in reality.

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New Decade, New Facebook? Facebook Reaches $550 Million Settlement in Facial Recognition Class Action, Agrees to Upgrade Privacy Safeguards

By Cameron Abbott, Max Evans and Florence Fermanis

Facebook is in the news again, but this time it’s not for the Cambridge Analytica scandal that took over our screens in 2019. Facebook has agreed to pay $550 Million USD to settle a class action which claimed that it had collected and stored biometric information belonging to millions of users without their consent, according to reports by Reuters and TechXplore.

According to the reports, the relevant users alleged that Facebook illegally collected biometric data through its ‘Tag Suggestions’ feature, which allowed users to recognise Facebook friends from uploaded photographs.

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“Totally Clueless”: Dating app Grindr reported for breach of privacy rules

By Cameron Abbott, Max Evans and Florence Fermanis

Dating apps, for many young people, are a fact of life. Meeting someone these days in real-life rather than through a simple swipe right appears to have become the exception, belonging more to any number of 90s teen “romcoms” than it does to real life.

According to an article by Reuters however, in recent times dating app Grindr has been the subject of a complaint by the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) in relation to a breach of privacy rules as set out in the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, implemented in 2018.

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You Can’t Throw the (Face)Book at Them: Affected Users Unable to Pursue Damages Claim against Facebook

By Cameron Abbott, Max Evans and James Gray

A US federal judge has ruled that the 29 million Facebook users affected by the September 2018 data breach may not seek damages as a remedy, but can only pursue the enforcement of better security practices at Facebook, according to a report by Reuters. Judge Alsup of the US District Court stated that Facebook’s repetitive losses of users’ privacy indicated a long-term need for supervision, which comes in addition to prior judgment which indicated that Facebook’s views about user’s privacy expectations were “so wrong”.

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Double-Edged Sword: Cambridge Analytica Whistle-Blower exposes the dual nature of Technology

By Cameron Abbott, Max Evans and James Gray

In his cautionary tale, 1984, author George Orwell spoke of a paradigm where the unregulated use of powerful technology, referred to as “telescreens”, manifested a society beholden to the ethics of the controller. This paradigm is perhaps more real than ever, according to an article by Reuters

By exploring the views of Cambridge Analytica whistle-blower Christopher Wylie, the article advises that the deep, multifaceted involvement of big tech companies in consumers’ lives, the ultimate dependence that arises from such involvement and the overwhelming vulnerability of such consumers renders tech companies “too big to fail”. Wylie argues that the vast imbalance of power and information in favour of these companies over users is resulting in a constant scrambling by regulators to control the rapid adoption of such technology forms.

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Hyp3r-misappropriation of data gets Instagram’s attention, but is enough being done?

By Cameron Abbott, Michelle Aggromito and Alyssia Totham

Until recently, a security vulnerability in the social media platform Instagram, allowed Hyp3r to illicitly harvest millions of Instagram users’ data and track their locations.

In a similar manner to the Cambridge Analytica scandal that plagued Facebook following the 2016 US presidential election, this latest example of Hyp3r’s mass data collection was discovered through a journalistic investigation and was not uncovered by the social media platform.

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UK Information Commissioner Orders Cambridge Analytica to Hand Over American’s Personal Data

Cameron Abbott and Georgia Mills

The UK Information Commissioner has ordered UK-based firm Cambridge Analytica to hand over all the personal information it holds about an American academic, confirming the right of people to access the personal data held about them by a UK firm.  The academic initially approached Cambridge Analytica for it to explain what information it had gathered on him, and later complained to the Commissioner that the consulting firm had failed to share the entirety of its data on him nor explained how it accumulated the information it held.

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Facebook’s Potential $70 billion Legal Challenge

By Rob Pulham, Warwick Andersen and Georgia Mills

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.

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Was your Facebook data taken by Cambridge Analytica? Here’s how to find out

By Cameron Abbott and Allison Wallace

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.

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Facebook’s privacy breach puts spotlight on Australian election campaigns

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.

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