Facebook: We Don’t Exist In Australia So Technically We Didn’t Break The Law

Facebook: We Don’t Exist In Australia So Technically We Didn’t Break The Law
Image: Getty

Facebook has a lot on their plate at the moment. While there’s been a focus on their role in fomenting and allowing the mobilisation of extremist rhetoric, there’s still other problems that are still dragging on — like the little ole’ Cambridge Analytica saga.

Quick refresh: Cambridge Analytica is the firm that sought to sell the details of 50 million Facebook users, including to the ultimately successful 2016 Trump election campaign.

These details harvested from a quiz app called “This is your digital life” included everything from their names, date of birth, and more for both the user who used it, as well as the user’s friends. The firm also bragged about their ability to use some of the data to shape the decisions of the user.

It was revealed that the firm was able to access the details of more than 300,000 Australians.

It was a big deal for Facebook, whose product allowed this widespread data harvesting using the platform’s features.

In March last year, the Office of the Information Commissioner (OAIC) lodged proceedings against Facebook for failing to comply with Australian privacy law.

As part of this, the tech giant has tried to argue that Australian privacy law doesn’t apply to them in Australia because they don’t exist here.

In September, Justice Thomas Thawley rejected an argument from Facebook that the company did not collect and store information in Australia, as first reported by the Guardian Australia.

At the time, the OAIC welcomed the ruling.

“While these matters remain to be established at trial, the court held the matters were sufficiently arguable to justify service outside of Australia and subjecting Facebook Inc to proceedings in Australia,” they said.

Now, Facebook is trying to appeal that ruling again, claiming that the case would answer questions about what it means to conduct business in Australia.

So for now, there remains a possibility that the platform with perhaps 17 million users in the country may not exist here. What a concept!