Tag Archives: Alleged
(Reuters) – Litigation funding provider IMF Bentham Ltd (IMF.AX) said on Tuesday it was funding a representative complaint against social networking website Facebook Inc (FB.O) over alleged breaches of the Australian Privacy Principles.
The company said it would fund the complaint made to the Australian Information Commissioner against Facebook Australia, Facebook Inc and Facebook Ireland. The complaint is being handled by Sydney-based law firm Johnson Winter & Slattery.
The Australian Information Commissioner has also commenced a separate investigation into the matter, IMF Bentham said, adding a class action may follow depending on the Commissioner’s findings.
Facebook has come under intense scrutiny after it admitted in March to making mistakes in letting 50 million users’ data get into the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
The company lost more than $ 50 billion in market value in the week after the allegations emerged that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed data to build profiles on American voters and influence the 2016 presidential election.
Facebook had said in April that a little more than 311,000 Australian users may have had their information improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica. (bit.ly/2Ejpktb)
Facebook’s Australian arm was not immediately available for a comment.
Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar
Virgin Group head Richard Branson has offered a soft-focus denial of allegations that he sexually harassed a backup singer for English singer-songwriter Joss Stone. In statements published by The Telegraph, Branson said he had “no recollection of the incident” described by singer Antonia Jenae.
The allegations are suddenly in the headlines, but were initially aired in an October 16th Facebook post by Jenae. Jenae describes Branson “trying to convince me to show him my boobs” at an island party. Then, Jenae claimed, Branson “proceeded to ‘motorboard’ my breasts with his face” as the party was breaking up.
According to the Telegraph, the island referenced by Jenae is Necker Island, a Caribbean which Branson owns. The alleged incident would have taken place in June 2010, after Stone and her band played a nearby festival.
Jenae has since told The Sun that “his behaviour was disgusting. I feel like it was sexual assault . . . Everyone was wondering why I wasn’t angry because I’m usually a firebrand. But I was just too shocked.”
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A Virgin Management spokeswoman also stated, according to the Telegraph, that “everyone appeared to enjoy their time on the island. Richard has no recollection of this matter and neither do his family and friends, who were with him on the island at the time . . . there would never have been any intention to offend or make anyone feel uncomfortable in any way and Richard apologizes if anyone felt that way during their time on the island.”
Joss Stone’s father, Richard Stoker, also contributed to the Virgin statement to the Telegraph, saying that “Joss and the group had a wonderful afternoon on Necker Island, everybody entered into the party spirit and it was wonderful getting to know Richard and his family.”
There are elements of the statements that were once standard in such situations, but which the latest round of harassment allegations seems to have rendered insufficient. Senator Al Franken was roundly lambasted earlier this month for saying “I certainly don’t remember” what broadcaster Leeann Tweeden described as a coerced kiss, and for dismissing a picture of him pretending to grab her breasts as “clearly intended to be funny.”
Franken quickly amended his statement to something more genuinely contrite, and Branson may find himself having to do the same. In addition to the weakness of the ‘I don’t remember’ defense, Stoker’s claim that “everybody entered into the party spirit” seems to subtly imply that Branson’s forgotten behavior might have been acceptable under the circumstances, a sentiment unlikely to be received well in the post-Weinstein era.