Mark Zuckerberg’s friend count continues to tick down in the face of a major data misuse scandal griping the company. The latest individual to #DeleteFacebook is no less than the privacy commissioner of New Zealand. Writing in The Spinoff, John Edwards accuses Facebook of being non-compliant with the New Zealand Privacy Act — and urges other New Zealanders to follow his lead and ditch the social network. He says he’s acting after a complaint that Facebook failed to provide a user in New Zealand with information it held on them. “Every New Zealander has the right to find out what information an agency holds about them. It is a right of constitutional significance,” he writes. “Facebook failed to meet its obligations under the Privacy Act, and when given a statutory demand from my office to produce the information at issue so that I could discharge my statutory duty to the requester to review it, Facebook initially refused to provide it, and then asserted that Facebook was not subject to the New Zealand Privacy Act, and was therefore under no obligation to provide it. “Our investigation was not able to proceed, and we notified the parties that while we were able to conclude that Facebook’s actions constituted an interference with privacy, and a failure to comply with its obligations both to the requester, and to my Office, there was nothing further we could do.” Facebook’s strategy of arguing it is not under the jurisdiction of privacy laws in international markets is a standard play for the company which instructs its lawyers to argue it is only subject to Irish data protection law, given its international HQ is based in Ireland. (NB: The geographical distance between Ireland and New Zealand is roughly 18,600km — a vast physical span that of course presents no barrier to Facebook’s digital business making money by mining personal data in New Zealand.) The company’s ‘your local privacy rules don’t apply to our international business’ strategy appears to be on borrowed time, in Europe at least — with some European courts already feeling able to deny Facebook’s claim that Ireland be its one-stop shop for any/all international legal challenges. The EU also has a major update to its data protection framework incoming, the GDPR, which will apply from May 25 — and which ramps up the liabilities for companies ignoring data protection rules by bringing in a new penalty regime that scales as…

Source: TechCrunch – Social Facebook just lost another user — New Zealand’s privacy commissioner