IMF Bentham launches class action against Facebook

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 11 July, 2018

IMF Bentham launches class action against Facebook

Australian law firm IMF Bentham has launched a class action against Facebook seeking compensation for users over privacy breaches arising from the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal.

The firm has filed a representative complaint with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and is inviting those who used a Facebook account while in Australia from 2010 to March 2015 to participate in the lawsuit.

The complaint seeks financial compensation for the unauthorised access to, and use of, Australian Facebook users' personal data.

Facebook has released a tool for users to determine whether they were affected by the breach, which can also be used to determine whether they are eligible to participate in the action.

Facebook revealed in April that over 300,000 Australian-based users fell victim to the breach, making the country the 10th hardest hit globally.

The data harvesting scandal involved the use of a third-party personality quiz and app distributed over Facebook in 2013. The app harvested data from the Facebook friends list of users who had taken the quiz. The harvested data is believed to have included users' political views, religious beliefs, friends and likes.

This data was then sold to analytics company Cambridge Analytica, which controversially used the information to provide services allowing election campaigns such as Donald Trump's rise to president and the pro-Brexit camp in the UK to laser-target customised campaign material to voters in important districts, influencing the outcome of both votes.

In March, the OAIC launched a probe into the scandal to determine the extent of the impact on Australians' private information.

Image credit: © Photo Club

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