Feeds

Facebook Australia's 'small company' status makes it a small target

Does Zuck know that smaller companies have lesser privacy obligations?

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

There's an old joke about failed CEOs, which runs “how do you create a small company? Give a big one to CEO X”. Facebook has found a new wrinkle: you build a small company merely by getting regulators to agree that it's a small company.

Apparently in order to manage its corporate reporting requirements in Australia, that's just what The Social NetworkTM has achieved, according to a report by Fairfax Media.

The publisher has turned up a decision by Australia's corporate regulator, ASIC, which allows Facebook to class itself as a small company in Australia.

As the report points out, this status is in spite of down-under revenues north of $AU60 million annually, Facebook achieved the “small company that is not part of a large group” status in 2009 and has managed to maintain this ever since – relieving it of, among other things, the obligation to file annual accounts with ASIC, which would give an accurate picture of its local revenue.

Curious about another possible implication of “small company status”, The Register asked the office of Australia's Privacy Commissioner Tim Pilgrim whether the ASIC status would affect Facebook's privacy obligations.

The response was less than responsive: the decision, we were told, "does not affect the operation of the Act".

Full compliance with Australia's Privacy Act is only required of some businesses whose turnover is beneath $AU3 million – those in healthcare, those trading personal information (which may catch Facebook), those related to a larger business, those who have to collect data under terrorism and money-laundering laws, and operators of residential tenancy databases.

Regarding being “related to a larger business”, Vulture South notes that Facebook's special corporate status describes it as “a Small Pty Company Controlled By a Foreign Coy Which is Not Part of Large Group”. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.