Australia Sues Facebook Over Data Misuse

The Australian antitrust regulator sued Facebook on accusing it of collecting user data without permission, building on government efforts around the world to rein in the social network, reported Reuters.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced it was seeking an unspecified fine from Facebook for promoting a virtual private network as a way for people to protect their data, while secretly using the information to pick targets for commercial acquisitions.

The lawsuit echoes a landmark US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) action accusing the social media giant of inappropriately maintaining market dominance by using customer data to decide on takeover targets including messaging app Whatsapp and image-sharing app Instagram.

“There is a link to what the FTC is saying, but they’re looking at a competition issue,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said at a televised news conference. “We’re looking at the consumer.”