Menu

‘Likely’ Aussies caught up in data scandal

It’s likely Australians have been caught up in a scandal involving a political consulting firm and Facebook, Australia’s cybersecurity adviser believes.

Cambridge Analytica is facing claims it used data from 50 million Facebook users to develop controversial political campaigns for Donald Trump and others.

Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim is looking into the claims and is making inquiries with Facebook to see whether any personal information of Australians was involved.

National cybersecurity adviser Alastair MacGibbon says online giants like Facebook need to start acting in line with community expectations.

“If you do some simple maths … I’d say it’s likely that Australians are caught up in this,” he told ABC radio on Wednesday.

“Increasingly the public is saying, ‘Hey I have given you a lot of data. I expect you to treat it with respect’,” he said.

“But you can’t make $13 billion a year monetising that data and then tell those same customers – that’s just from advertising by the way – that you’re treating their data with respect.”

Mr MacGibbon refused to offer Australian political parties advice on using firms such as Cambridge Analytica.

“But everyone, of course, needs to make sure they’re careful about where the information they’re using comes from,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Gold Coast City Council plans to mine the Facebook data of Commonwealth Games visitors who use the social media network to log into free wifi, but says use of the information will be limited.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsor Vast Furniture & Homewares Ballina.