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Facebook faces Australia data breach compensation claim

AFP  |  Sydney 

could face a hefty compensation bill in after a leading litigation funder lodged a complaint with the country's regulator over users' personal data shared with a British political consultancy.

The admitted in April the data of up to 87 million people worldwide -- including more than 300,000 in -- was harvested by

Under Australian law, all organisations must take "reasonable steps" to ensure personal information is held securely and has teamed up with a major firm to lodge a complaint with the (OAIO).

The OAIO launched an investigation into the alleged breaches in April and depending on its outcome, a class action could follow.

IMF said in a statement late yesterday it was seeking "compensation for users arising from Facebook's alleged breaches of the Australian Principles contained in the Act 1988".

"The alleged breaches surround the circumstances in which a third party, Cambridge Analytica, gained unauthorised access to users' profiles and information.

"The complaint seeks financial recompense for the unauthorised access to, and use of, their personal data." In its statement, said it appeared learned of the breach in late 2015, but failed to tell users about it until this year.

IMF told The Australian newspaper most awards for privacy breaches ranged between 1,000 Australian dollars and 10,000 Australian dollars (USD 750-USD 7,500).

This implies a potential compensation bill of between 300 million Australian dollars and 3 billion Australian dollars.

Facebook did not directly comment on the action but a told AFP today: "We are fully cooperating with the investigation currently underway by the Australian

"We will review any additional evidence that is made available when the releases their report.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, July 11 2018. 08:35 IST