Life Tech Australians caught up in Facebook leak to be notified

Australians caught up in Facebook leak to be notified

Australians will learn if their Facebook data had been breached from Tuesday. Photo: Getty
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

About 310,000 Australian Facebook users are set to find out their personal information may have been accessed by Cambridge Analytica.

The social media behemoth is expected on Wednesday (Tuesday US time) to notify the 87 million users worldwide whose data may have been unknowingly and “improperly” shared with the British political consulting agency.

About one in 50 Australian users and one in every three American users are among those affected.

Facebook users will receive one of two notifications at the top of their newsfeed.

Facebook data scandal
Facebook will send users one of two notifications. Photo: Facebook

The message on the left indicates you have not been affected, while the message on the right says your data was caught up in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The example message given by Facebook suggests how Cambridge Analytica might have accessed your data via a friend.

“We have banned the website ‘This Is Your Digital Life’, which one of your friends used Facebook to log into. We did this because the website may have misused some of your Facebook information by sharing it with a company called Cambridge Analytica,” it reads.

The post also says users can “learn more about what happened” and tighten privacy settings by clicking or tapping on a button marked “See how you’re affected”.

“There is more work to do, but we are committed to confronting abuse and to putting you in control of your privacy,” it says.

It comes after Cambridge Analytica developed controversial tools for use in political campaigns and worked on Donald Trump’s run for US president.

It says it received data on 30 million users but never used that information in the 2016 campaign.

The Mark Zuckerberg-led social media giant will also show each of its 2.2 billion users a message prompting them to review the apps and websites connected to their account.

The Privacy Commissioner is investigating whether Facebook breached the Privacy Act, which requires organisations meet certain obligations including taking reasonable steps to ensure personal information is held securely. 

Facebook has lost $100 billion of its sharemarket value since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke three weeks ago.

It last week suspended another political consulting firm amid media reports it had ties to Cambridge Analytica and received more than $4.5 million during Brexit from the triumphant Vote Leave campaign

The Canadian-based AggregateIQ says it has never been part of Cambridge Analytica or parent company SCL and has never entered into a contract with Cambridge Analytica.