March 9 (UPI) -- The Australian government filed a lawsuit against Facebook Monday, arguing the social media company violated the privacy of 300,000 citizens who were affected by the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Australian information minister Angelene Falk filed the suit in federal court on Monday.
Falk's suit says Facebook unlawfully divulged private data through the quiz app This Is Your Digital Life in 2014 and 2015, and the information was used to target users with political advertising.
"We claim these actions left the personal data of around 311,127 Australian Facebook users exposed to be sold and used for purposes including political profiling, well outside users' expectations," Falk said in a statement.
The agency says Facebook didn't take reasonable steps to protect user information.
"All entities operating in Australia must be transparent and accountable in the way they handle personal information, in accordance with their obligations under Australian privacy law," Falk added. "We consider the design of the Facebook platform meant that users were unable to exercise reasonable choice and control about how their personal information was disclosed."
A Facebook representative said the company cooperated with Falk's agency during its investigation.
"We've made major changes to our platforms, in consultation with international regulators, to restrict the information available to app developers, implement new governance protocols and build industry-leading controls to help people protect and manage their data," the spokesperson said.
U.S. and British authorities fined Facebook more than $5 billion over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, during which the political consulting company used "psychological and political" information from Facebook to target users with political ads during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
Investigators said personal data of as many as 87 million Facebook users was accessed by Cambridge Analytica before the scandal was revealed two years ago.