News Link: Australia Sues Facebook Over User Data – Echoing US Antitrust Case – By MK (Editor)
An Australian regulator sued Facebook Inc on Wednesday accusing it of collecting user data without permission. Building on government efforts around the world to rein in the social network.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it was seeking an unspecified fine from Facebook. Which is for promoting a virtual private network as a way for people to protect their data. While secretly using the information to pick targets for commercial acquisitions.
Furthermore, the lawsuit echoes a landmark US Federal Trade Commission action accusing the social media giant of inappropriately maintaining market dominance. This is by using customer data to decide on takeover targets including messaging app Whatsapp and image-sharing app Instagram.
“There is a link to what the FTC is saying, but they’re looking at a competition issue,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said. “We’re looking at the consumer.”
A Facebook spokeswoman said the company was “always clear about the information we collect and how it is used”.
“We will review the recent filing by the ACCC and will continue to defend our position in response to this recent filing,” she added.
Face book shut down the VPN product in 2019.
Similarly, earlier this month Australia went ahead with plans to make Facebook and internet giant Google pay domestic media outlets. That is for content that appeared on their websites, at Sims’s recommendation.
The Australian privacy regulator has a separate lawsuit against Face book accusing it of breaching user privacy. Which is with personality test run by political marketing consultant Cambridge Analytica. Facebook is defending that action. The ACCC is also suing Google alleging it misled users about data collection.
Unlike the US lawsuit, which may force Face book to sell assets. The Australian lawsuit may force the company to change the way it discloses its activities to users following the case. The statement said by Rob Nicholls, a University of New South Wales associate professor who specializes in competition law.
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News Link: Australia Sues Facebook Over User Data – Echoing US Antitrust Case