Facebook Sued by Australia for Alleged 'Misleading' VPN App

Australia's official consumer watchdog allegedly initiated some legal action against the famous Facebook corporation on 16 December. This included claims that the social media giant allegedly "misled" thousands of Australians. It claimed to have been achieved by gathering some user data from a mostly free VPN service marketed as "private."

Facebook sued by Australian Watchdog

According to The Star's post, the famous site could theoretically face a particular finding if found guilty of actually deceiving its users. This was done as Australia is now taking a more assertive approach against the well-known powerful US tech titans.

The Australian Official Competition and Consumer Commission, better known as the ACCC, has recently accused Facebook and two of its subsidiaries, namely Facebook Israel and Onavo Inc., of misleading people. Misleading is claimed to have occurred when people downloaded their virtual private network or VPN app known as the Onavo Project by gathering and even using their own very accurate and useful personal activity data.

ACCC sues Facebook and two partners

Records on which individual applications were downloaded, as well as the amount of time spent using them, were a couple of the suspected data used to help Facebook's market research. The official ACCC alleges that both Facebook and the two partners have wrongly portrayed the now-defunct VPN service as a way of keeping user data secure, private, and confidential between February 2016 and October 2017.

According to the ACCC Chair, known as Rod Sims, users most frequently use the VPN service because they care for their privacy online. That's what the Facebook product said it was selling. It was reported that the Onavo Protect channeled some significant volumes of their activity data back to Facebook.

Alleged VPN gives Facebook user data

The statement says that they conclude that the particular behavior deprived Australian consumers of a certain opportunity to make an informed voice about their data processing and use by both Facebook and Onavo. Facebook did not respond to a request for feedback.

The ACCC has also previously helped draft a specific law that threatens Facebook and Google with penalties of millions of dollars until they have agreed to pay certain media outlets when their sites host particular news material. Back in March, the Australian Information Commissioner said that he had also taken legal proceedings directly against Facebook for potentially exposing more than 300,000 Australians to a data leak by a political consultancy company known as Cambridge Analytica. According to a report by France24, Facebook has already paid some fines in both the United States and the United Kingdom for the previous huge 2018 data hijacking fiasco involving a certain now-defunct British company-AFP.


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