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.