Australia government to probe Facebook

FacebooklogoAustralian Privacy Commissioner Karen Curtis says Facebook could be breaching Australian privacy laws. Curtis is concerned about the site’s use of users’ private information following a report by Canadian authorities.

A number of the privacy issues raised by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner could arise under the Australian Privacy Act as the two country’s laws are very similar, Curtis said.

Indefinite retention of personal information (after a user has deactivated their account) could be contrary to National Privacy Principle 4.2 of Australia law, which requires organisations to take reasonable steps to destroy or permanently de-identify personal info that it no longer has any lawful use for.

Curtis has now asked Facebook, which has about 6 million Australian users, and other social networking sites, to assess their practices against the principles in the Australian Privacy Act.

She says that Australians who believe their privacy has been breached by Facebook should contact her office on 1300 363 992.

Facebook says it will soon be introducing a number of new additional privacy features to its service that its believes will keep the site at the forefront of user privacy and address any remaining concerns the commission may have.

Source: Thinking Australia

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