Manila – The Philippines’ privacy commission on Friday said it had launched an investigation into Facebook over a data breach affecting millions of users worldwide, including Filipinos.
The National Privacy Commission said it had written to Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, requiring the social media company to submit documents related to the case so that the scope and impact of the breach on Filipino users could be established.
“We are launching an investigation into Facebook to determine whether there is unauthorised processing of personal data of Filipinos, and other possible violations of the Data Privacy Act of 2012,’’ it said in its April 11 letter to Zuckerberg.
Facebook has admitted that the personal data of as many as 87 million users were “improperly shared” with Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm accused of using the information to influence the U.S. presidential election and the Brexit referendum.
“The identification of 1.18 million Filipinos who may have been affected by the Cambridge Analytica incident is alarming and may be a symptom of a deeper problem that could pose risks to Filipino Facebook users.
“As the Philippine data privacy authority, we are directing you to furnish this commission with information relevant to the processing of Facebook data of affected Filipinos.
“Also on how personal data is generally shared with third parties using your platform,’’ the commission added.
Meanwhile over 67 million Filipinos are active users of Facebook.
According to Facebook, most of the people affected are based in the U.S.
Other affected users are from Europe, Indonesia, Mexico, Canada, India, Brazil, Vietnam and Australia.