Australia has opened a formal investigation into Facebook after the company said up to 87 million users were affected by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a significant increase from the 50 million initially reported.
About 300,000 of the users whose data was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm claiming to have helped President Donald Trump get elected, come from Australia, Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk said in a statement. The investigation into Facebook will consider wither the company breached Australia’s Privacy Act 1988.
“All organisations that are covered by the Privacy Act have obligations in relation to the personal information that they hold,” Falk said. “This includes taking reasonable steps to ensure that personal information is held securely, and ensuring that customers are adequately notified about the collection and handling of their personal information.”
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner will work with international regulatory authorities “given the global nature of this matter,” Falk said.
Facebook (FB) revealed the new figure of 87 million people affected by the scandal in a release on Wednesday that detailed its plans to restrict data on its platforms, noting that most of the affected users are based in the United States. The company said it will notify users if Cambridge Analytica may have improperly used their data.