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Commissioner says Facebook breached Privacy Act after rejected information request

Aaron Dahmen
Facebook is trying to amend the privacy breach  Pxhere

The social media giant refused a complainant access to their own personal information from other user accounts.

Privacy Commissioner, John Edwards, said Facebook breached the Privacy Act as a result.  

This comes after the world's largest social media network ignored the request, arguing it didn't have to comply with the applied privacy legislation.

But the Commissioner found Facebook was subject to the Privacy Act and had fundamentally failed in it's obligation to the public.

He said Facebook’s position was surprising and contrary to its Data Policy.

Facebook did not comply with the Privacy Act as it failed to properly respond to the complainant’s request for information, acknowledge it was subject to the Privacy Act, and cooperate with the Commissioner’s investigation and statutory demand for information.

While privacy investigations are generally confidential, Edwards considered it necessary to publicly identify Facebook and highlight its unwillingness to comply with the law. 

"We needed to inform the New Zealand public of Facebook’s position."

Edwards was disappointed the network failed to respond appropriately.

"They refused to cooperate."

Reports of controversial data collection put Facebook in the spotlight last week, with user information alleged to have impacted major elections around the world. 

METRONEWS has contacted Facebook for comment.