The Philippines has become the latest country to open an investigation into Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data breach.
Philippines National Privacy Commission said Friday it sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg following public statements he’s made about the data breach that may have affected 87 million people worldwide. The commission is investigating how that leak to the U.K.-based data firm Cambridge Analytics may have affected Filipinos.
Facebook said last week data from nearly 1.2 million users in the Philippines may have been breached — the most in any country outside of the United States.
Commission officials wrote in a letter addressed to Zuckerberg that it needed Facebook, which reached 2 billion users worldwide last year, to submit a number of documents to determine the impact of the data breach.
They also will examine whether anyone violated a privacy law in the country.
“We are launching an investigation into Facebook to determine whether there is unauthorized processing of personal data of Filipinos, and other possible violations of the Data Privacy Act of 2012,” an excerpt of the letter sent to Zuckerberg reads.
The country’s privacy watchdog has given Facebook 15 days from the receipt of its letter to provide more documentation on how its Filipino users have been affected by the scandal, CNN reported.
The Philippines joins Australia and Indonesia, which said last week they would also investigate the social media giant.
The data breach stemmed from Aleksandr Kogan, a scientist at Cambridge University, selling data he collected from a personality quiz he built on Facebook to third party Cambridge Analytica in 2015. After that, Facebook “demanded certification from Kogan and all parties he had given data to that the information has been destroyed.”
Facebook received more recent reports that the information had not been deleted leading to the account’s suspension last month.
By Sommer Brokaw