PH privacy commission to probe Facebook after data scandal

MANILA, Philippines – The National Privacy Commission (NPC) said on Friday, April 13, that it will conduct its own investigation into Facebook after more than a million  Filipino users may have had their Facebook information improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.

The NPC, in a letter addressed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, required the social media giant to submit documents that would help establish the scope and the effects of the incident as it relates to Filipino users. (READ: Basagan ng Trip with Leloy Claudio: Why the Cambridge Analytica scandal matters to Filipinos)

The NPC said in its letter, which was signed by NPC Commissioner Raymund Liboro and deputy commissioners Ivy Patdu and Leandro Aguirre, that the the investigation aims "to determine whether there is unauthorized processing of personal data of Filipinos, and other possible violations of the Data Privacy Act of 2012."

The NPC also said Facebook has 15 days upon receipt of the letter to respond. Failure to comply will prompt the NPC to undertake "further corrective actions to protect the interests of Filipino data subjects."

The NPC sent the letter to Facebook follows two days of congressional hearings in the US, where Zuckerberg apologized for the missteps of the company but defended its business model.  

Cambridge Analytica is the analytics firm embroiled in a global data privacy scandal. It allegedly harvested the data of millions of Facebook users for use with Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

The company used data collected via a quiz app on Facebook. The data used would split up voters based on their personalities and behavior for the purpose of targeting those with specific content that would likely influence their behavior. (READ: Did Cambridge Analytica use FIlipinos' Facebook data to help Duterte win?)

Read the NPC's full letter below: