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Australia launches investigation into Facebook over data scandal

Staff Writer |
Australia has launched a formal investigation into Facebook after the company revealed information about hundreds of thousands of Australians was potentially exposed to data research firm Cambridge Analytica.

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The investigation will examine whether the social media giant breached Australia's privacy laws, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) said.

"Given the global nature of this matter, the OAIC will confer with regulatory authorities internationally," Angelene Falk, the country's acting information and privacy commissioner, said in a statement.

Facebook revealed on Wednesday that data from 87 million of its users "may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica," far higher than the 50 million estimated by initial reports.

A little over 300,000 of those users were from Australia, the company said in a blog post. The vast majority of the affected users were in the United States.

Other countries potentially affected by the data breach are the Philippines, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, India, Brazil and Vietnam.

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