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RMIT University Associate Professor Mark Gregory's insights into Facebook scandal (Courtesy of Dr. Mark Gregory)

What recommendations that Associate Professor Mark Gregory, RMIT University wants Australian government and Australian public to take to handle Facebook scandal and to protect personal information from further leaking?

By
Vixay Vue
Published on
Sunday, April 8, 2018 - 15:57
File size
8.98 MB
Duration
9 min 49 sec

Latest reports said Facebook said that users personal information has be breached as many as 87 million accounts than previously thought (50 million account) from its over 2 billions active users monthly within 13 years since it was found.

According to SBS journalists Helen Ibister's and Evan Young's report, 'Facebook Australia', the US accounts for 80% or more than 70 million accounts being breached, while there is possibility that Britain, Indonesia and the Philippines are affected more than a million accounts compare to just over 300,000 in Australia.

Listen to Facebook Australia story in Hmong here:

Facebook Australia

Muaj neeg Australia coob npaum li cas uas siv Facebook cov account tej xov xwm ntiag tug paim quav?

Listen to story about Facebook Privacy in Hmong here:

Facebook privacy

Yuav ua li cas thiaj pov puag tau koj tej xov xwm ntiag tug thaum koj siv social media li Facebook thiab tej vas sab ntawd?

This incident has caused outcry from global social media users and governments around the world and global communities as well as campaign like #DeleteFacebook to go against Facebook's data harvesting and manipulation. Taking Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has deleted his two companies accounts as an example. China has also stated that it has legitimated reasons to ban Facebook for good. The British parliament has called Facebook to explain which it has refused to do so. The European Union is also very anxious to know if its communities was affected by this incident.

RMIT University's Associate Professor Mark A Gregory told SBS Radio Hmong Program that he would like to recommend two main points in regards to Facebook scandal which related to recent Cambridge Analytica's tens of millions data breaching to Australian government and Australian public.

Firstly, he said that there is suggestion that people should stop using Facebook, but it is not possible to do so, as we use Facebook to stay in touch with families, friends and networks.

Secondly, Dr. Gregory has also asserted that Australian government needs to put proper legislations in place to enable Australia's Privacy Commissioner to have the power to investigate and to substantially punish any company that gather personal information and responsible for monetizing or leaking this information which infringe Australian Privacy Act. Because international corporate like Facebook will only see any punishment as minimal impacts, as it is a multinational corporate who earn millions compare to the fine.

Furthermore, he also would like to urge Australians to thoroughly consider any information that they would like to share on Facebook social media platform. They need to pay really pay attention to privacy setting so those information are only accessible by those they allowed.

"Facebook has been warned in the past, Facebook has problems in the past, and what we have seen from Facebook has not been adequate responded to the problem, this has been a global problem and it has been something that Facebook created. So therefore the punishment should be in the upper end of what's available for the Privacy Commissioner and the government," said, Associate Professor Mark A Gregory.

Sonja Heydeman, a journalist for SBS Audio and Language Content has reported that Facebook has indicated it will notify its users this Monday the 09th April 2018 through Facebook apps, by sending the message "Protecting Your Information" to them, if their personal information have been infringed. Associate Press reported that whilst Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg talk to N-B-C's Today Show, she has apologized to Facebook users.

"We know we didn't do enough to protect people's data, and I'm really sorry about that, and Mark's really sorry about that. And what we're doing now is taking real action "

Apart from the Legal proceeding against Facebook by Slate and Gordon law firm that is still ongoing, Facebook will still need to explain to US congressional committee hearing next week about what has actually happened. Australia's Privacy Commissioner has also informed that it will investigate this matter.

"Well, I think that this is the first of what we are likely to see to be many of the data breach or privacy and data breaches where company has instituted programs to manipulate and if you like monetize personal information. And so really the Privacy Commission needs to take action on every case that comes up, the penalty needs to be quite severe. Because it is one thing for a company hacked into, but it is another thing for the company itself to be incorrectly personal data and to be monetized that personal data in a way that is not consistant with the legislation,'' said Associate Professor Mark A Gregory.

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