Australia probes if Facebook data leaks broke privacy law

SYDNEY — Australian authorities say they are investigating whether Facebook breached the country's privacy law when personal information of more than 300,000 Australian users was obtained by Cambridge Analytica, a Trump-linked political consulting firm, without their authorization.

Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk said Thursday that the Privacy Act requires all organizations to ensure personal information is held securely. Customers must also be adequately notified about the collection and handling of personal information.

Each breach of the Privacy Act can involve a 420,000 Australian dollar fine ($323,000). The privacy commissioner can also seek a court injunction and require offenders to pledge, under threat of further court action, to prevent further breaches.

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