The world's most influential social-media company is being probed by privacy watchdogs in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Canada's privacy commissioner, Daniel Therrian, said that his office received a complaint against Facebook in connection with data mining by Cambridge Analytica.
“The first step will be to confirm with the company whether the personal information of Facebook users in Canada was affected,” Therrian explained in a statement.
Cambridge Analytica supplied information about millions of Facebook users to the Donald Trump campaign and to those leading the fight to pull Britain out of the European Union.
Former Cambridge Analytica research director Christopher Wylie—who was raised Vancouver and attended school in Victoria—has blown the whistle about this in a series of interviews.
He told Channel 4 that Cambridge Analytica was able to vaccum up data on more than 50 million Facebook users over a period of two months, in most instances without their consent.
That alarms Therrian.
“The allegations we’ve seen in media reports raise extremely important privacy questions," he said. "The digital world, and social media in particular, have become entrenched in our daily lives and people want their rights to be respected."
His investigation will focus on whether Facebook complied with Canada's Personal Information Protection and Documents Act.
It requires companies to obtain "meaningful and informed consent" for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information with regard to commercial activities.
This legislation does not apply to political parties.
The information commissioner in the U.K., Elizabeth Denham, is also conducting an investigation.
Before moving to the U.K., Denham was information and privacy commissioner in British Columbia.
"On 7 March, my office issued a Demand for Access to records and data in the hands of Cambridge Analytica," Denham said on March 19. "Cambridge Analytica has not responded by the deadline provided; therefore, we are seeking a warrant to obtain information and access to systems and evidence related to our investigation."