The Australian Government will give the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) new powers to regulate digital platforms, the commissioner has announced following Facebook’s US$5 billion (A$7.17 billion) fine from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Facebook must pay the fine and submit to new restrictions and a modified corporate structure that will “hold the company accountable for the decisions it makes about its users’ privacy” after the company was found to have violated a 2012 FTC order by deceiving users about their ability to control the privacy of their personal information.
In a statement on its website, the OAIC said that the $US5 billion penalty against Facebook is a globally significant order that demonstrates the concerns of privacy regulators around the world.
“The fine is supported by requirements for Facebook to embed privacy protections into its business and reflects heightened community expectations about the protection of their privacy
“This order reinforces the need for corporate entities to be transparent and accountable for the way they handle consumers’ personal information,” the OAIC said.
The OAIC is continuing its investigation into Facebook’s handling of Australians’ personal information, including engaging with our international counterparts.
“We are committed to ensuring that consumers are given clear and accurate information that is easily understood and allows them to make informed choices about the use and disclosure of their personal information,” said OAIC.
The OAIC’s new powers to regulate digital platforms will include increased penalties and a new binding code of privacy practice that “will ensure that digital platforms trading in personal information in Australia are held to the highest standards”.
For information on the Australian Privacy Principles, visit the OAIC website.