Facebook has suffered a major setback in Australia after a judge ruled that the social media giant indeed carries out business in the country on Monday, September 14. Facebook was first sued by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) back in March wherein the tech giant was accused of breaching the privacy of 300,000 Australians between March 2014 and May 2015 following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The Australian Privacy regulator has accused Facebook of grave privacy breaches that is believed to have exposed the data of some 300,000 users in the country. As per The Guardian reports, Facebook headquarters are located outside Australia and the regulator had to establish that the company carried out business in Australia to move ahead with the case on privacy laws.
After being served documents, Facebook Inc tried to argue that it did not carry out business in Australia during that period. But in a ruling made on September 14, Judge Thaley affirmed that the Information Commissioner had been successful in proving that social media firm did carry out business in Australia and that during the time in question it was collecting and storing the personal data of Australians.
Following the judgement, both the Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk stated that they were pleased with the court's decision and would now be moving forward with the case.
On September 8, a Facebook employee lashed out at the companies’ policies and slammed the social media platform for being on the “wrong side of history”. In a post, the ex-employee claimed that he could no longer “stomach contributing to an organisation that is profiting off hate in the US and globally”.
The employee also highlighted Facebook's several content moderation decisions in the recent past despite civil rights advocates pressurising the social media platform to control the hate speech and disinformation.