SA justice department confronts Facebook over data breach

The Information Regulator at the department of justice says it has reached out to social media platform Facebook over the reported breach of private information in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where millions of users’ private data was shared with the political consulting firm without permission.

The SA information regulator said that, although not all the sections of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) have come into effect, the regulator has decided to proactively and voluntarily engage Facebook with regards to the alleged data breach.

Facebook reported that around 60,000 South African Facebook users were effected by the breach.

The regulator said that it has written to Facebook to establish how the breach occurred, the full extent of the breach, and what security measures have been put in place to prevent such a breach from happening again.

It also requested that Facebook inform all South Africans that have been affected by the breach.

According to the regulator – taking into account other recent data breaches, like the Masterdeeds breach of October 2017 – it has has agreed to set up a special task team to tackle investigations around such breaches.

The task team will include representatives of the SAPS (specifically, the Hawks), the National Credit Regulator, and the Association of Credit Bureaus, among other government departments.

“Any person affected (either personally or acting on behalf of affected party) as a result of the alleged data breach at Facebook is welcome to lay a formal complaint with the Regulator through its website,” it said.

Read: Facebook to contact 87 million users over data leak – with 60,000 potentially impacted in South Africa

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SA justice department confronts Facebook over data breach