Israel’s Justice Ministry said on Thursday that an investigation has been launched into Facebook’s leak of personal information of Israeli users.
The ministry said the investigation was opened following media reports that data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica had harvested information about Facebook users.
“The Israeli Privacy Protection Authority informed Facebook today, that it had opened an investigation into its activities, following the publications on the transfers of personal data from Facebook to Cambridge Analytica.
Also the possibility of other infringements of privacy law regarding Israelis,” the Justice Ministry said in a statement.
Under the Israeli Privacy Law, personal data may only be used for the purpose for which it was given, with the consent of the individual.
The Privacy Protection Authority will “investigate whether personal data of Israeli citizens were illegally used in a way that infringes upon their right to privacy and the provisions of the Israeli Privacy Law,” the statement said.
Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting company, was accused of harvesting data of up to 50 million Facebook users without permission and using the data to help politicians including U.S. President Donald Trump and the Brexit campaign.
On Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologised for the “major breach of trust,’’ saying the company would take measures to protect personal data.
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