Now, the Facebook debacle that began with Cambridge Analytica has gone “global.” After officials in the United States and Britain questioned the company, now Australia has announced a formal investigation into the matter in which, officials believe, “hundreds of thousands” of Australians may have had their personal data exposed.

The purpose of the investigation is to determine if Facebook violated Australia’s privacy laws. Angelene Falk, information and privacy commissioner for the Office of the Australian Information Commission, told the media: “Given the global nature of this matter, the OAIC will confer with regulatory authorities internationally…”

Facebook has previously admitted that data from about 87 million users could have been shared “improperly” with Cambridge Analytica. This is nearly double the initial estimate of up to 50 million people. Of those affected by the “improper” data sharing, about 300,000 of the users were in Australia, at least according to Facebook. Far fewer than the number of U.S. users affected, which is estimated to be about 70 million.

Other countries in which users were affected include Canada, Mexico, India, Brazil, Vietnam and the Great Britain. Some of these other countries are investigating the issue as well. Indonesia’s communications minister, Rudiantara, has requested that the national police begin a criminal investigation, according to CNN. The news outlet said it’s “unclear” as to whether Indonesia has launched such an investigation.

Rudiantara said his office is awaiting the results of an independent investigation into the matter and, depending on the findings, may consider shuttering Facebook in his country.

Meanwhile, the organization at the heart of all the turmoil, Cambridge Analytica, has consistently disputed the numbers offered by Facebook. In a media statement, the company admits to licensing the data of “no more than 30 million people” and further states the data was not collected by their organization, but by an independent scientist who then provided it to Cambridge Analytica.

At this point though, many consumers are not nearly as concerned about the exact numbers as they are about the breach itself. While most social media users are aware that the networks are using their data to a point, most have taken some steps to protect data… and these tens of millions were horrified to learn that Cambridge Analytica may have accessed data that was collected without their permission through an app used by “friends” on the social network.

This has been the most serious allegation and the revelation that engendered the most anger in users since the headlines broke. And it’s the allegation that Facebook still hadn’t gotten out from under. Zuckerberg and his team are trying, but it looks like the investigations and accusations are just gaining steam.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5W Public Relations

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.

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