Australia is investigating whether local personal information was exposed in the Facebook data breach

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The Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner is investigating whether the reported data breach at Facebook by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica involved the personal details of local users.

Cambridge Analytica allegedly obtained data on millions of users to influence the 2016 presidential election in the US and the Brexit vote in the UK.

The data was taken from 50 million Facebook users in 2014.

“I am aware of the reports that users’ Facebook profile information was acquired and used without authorisation,” says commissioner Timothy Pilgrim.

“My Office is making inquiries with Facebook to ascertain whether any personal information of Australians was involved.

“I will consider Facebook’s response and whether any further regulatory action is required.”

Australian law gives the commissioner the power to investigate and seek a civil penalty.

Facebook has hired Stroz Friedberg, a digital forensics firm, to determine whether Cambridge Analytica still possesses any Facebook user data.

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