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Japan to order Facebook to improve data protection after mass Cambridge Analytica leak

• It will be the first time for the government’s Personal Information Protection Commission to issue this kind of warning to the social media giant

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 October, 2018, 1:38pm
UPDATED : Monday, 22 October, 2018, 1:38pm

Japan authorities have ordered Facebook to improve its protection of personal information following a massive data breach found earlier this year that impacted 87 million of its users around the world, government sources said on Monday.

It will be the first time for the Japanese government’s Personal Information Protection Commission to issue this kind of warning to the social media giant.

The commission, which investigated the data leak with British authorities, judged that Facebook’s management of personal information and its explanation to its users were inappropriate, the sources said.

The data leak involving Cambridge Analytica, a London-based political consulting firm, came to light this spring, with the information believed to have been used by US President Donald Trump’s election campaign body in 2016.

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More than 100,000 Facebook users may have been affected in Japan. The commission will demand that Facebook respond appropriately to the problem, including communicating sufficiently with the users and deleting data as necessary, although it has not been confirmed that their details were actually used.

In addition, the panel will order Facebook to investigate why personal data from 29 million accounts were stolen by hackers in a separate incident in September and urge the company to prevent similar thefts.

The committee is a supervisory body for the protection of personal information in Japan. It can issue orders and instructions to companies and other entities based on relevant laws.