April 5, 2018 / 10:37 PM / 4 months ago

Canada, B.C. in joint investigations of Facebook, AggregateIQ

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - The Canadian federal agency charged with protecting privacy rights of individuals said on Thursday that it, along with its counterpart in British Columbia, will jointly investigate Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Canadian data firm AggregateIQ, over an ongoing data sharing scandal.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Facebook is pictured on a window at new Facebook Innovation Hub during a media tour in Berlin, Germany, February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada said the probes, which broaden two existing investigations, will look at whether the companies broke federal and provincial personal privacy rules.

FILE PHOTO: An office building's directory board lists Canadian data firm AggregateIQ, whose suite now lies empty, in Victoria, B.C., Canada March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Light

Canada’s privacy commissioner launched an investigation of Facebook in March after the New York Times and London’s Observer newspaper broke news of the use of Facebook data by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook Canada said on Wednesday that more than 600,000 Canadians had their data “improperly shared” with Cambridge Analytica.

British Columbia’s privacy commissioner was separately investigating AggregateIQ over whether the Victoria-based company had broken provincial personal privacy rules for its role in the Brexit campaign.

The two agencies will now jointly investigate the companies, as they are subject to both federal and provincial personal privacy laws.

Reporting by Julie Gordon in Vancouver; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang

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