Facebook gets High Court nod for appeal

·1-min read

The High Court will hear an appeal from Facebook regarding a decision involving the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The appeal was sought after the Federal Court rejected the social media giant's claim it does not conduct business in Australia and store Australian information.

The Australian Information Commissioner is suing US-based Facebook Inc, now known as Meta, and Facebook Ireland over the alleged breaching of 311,000 Australian user's privacy.

The Australian regulator alleges Facebook Inc "committed serious, and/or repeated interferences with privacy in contravention of Australian privacy law".

But the Mark Zuckerberg-led social media giant argued these laws do not apply to Facebook Inc, as the Facebook Ireland subsidiary was conducting the Australian business.

Further, Facebook Inc argued it did not collect or store people's personal information in Australia.

Noel Hutley SC, acting for Facebook, argued the Federal Court was incorrect in its definition of "carrying on business" in Australia.

He told the High Court Facebook Inc did not have a commercial presence in Australia or a contract with Australian users.

Instead, he said, Australians had a commercial relationship with Facebook Ireland which runs all operations outside of the United States.

Ruth Higgins SC, acting for the regulator, argued Facebook Inc receives revenue from Facebook Ireland for the data processes it provides which therefore established a commercial relationship.

"These activities were integral to Facebook Inc's commercial pursuits," she said.