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Facebook Agrees to Settle Cambridge Analytica Lawsuit

Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica lawsuit ended up in a settlement. The tech giant is ready to settle the allegation with the lawsuit plaintiff with a written settlement.

Facebook Agrees to Settle Cambridge Analytica Lawsuit
  • PublishedAugust 30, 2022

The Meta-owned social media platform Facebook proposed to settle the long-running privacy class lawsuit in San Francisco federal court. The lawsuit sought damages against Facebook for allowing third parties, including British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to access the private data of Facebook users.

According to sources, one of the parties involved in the case asked for a 60-day hold until the plaintiffs’ lawyers and Facebook agreed on a written settlement. The hearing took place in the Northern District of California. However, the company has not disclosed the proposed amount.

Facebook allowed illegal use of its user data

The lawsuit, which has been running for almost four years, accused Facebook of illegally sharing its users’ private information for political use. The other party involved in the case was the UK-based data firm Cambridge Analytica.

In 2018, upon several revelations and claims made on the tech giant about its data policy, Facebook admitted that a third party could have accessed the data of 87 million users, which was later revised to 50+ million.

According to sources, Cambridge Analytica improperly used Facebook data to build Psychographics – a psychological study of consumers, their personality, opinions, interests etc. — of voters. Moreover, a whistleblower also accused the company of allegedly using voter suppression to target Black voters.

The lawsuit plaintiff also accused the Meta-owned company of a quiz app “This Is Your Digital Life” harvesting users’ data. Interestingly, the app was created by Cambridge Analytica and had access to information from over 80 million users.

According to reports, Facebook users downloaded the app over 300,000 times, and the UK-based political firm used this data to create profiles of US voters. The users were then microtargeted with political advertisements.

The settlement

In 2018, Cambridge Analytica went bankrupt after the alleged exposure by several parties, researchers, and data specialists. Facebook paid a $5 billion fine to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the scandal’s fallout, followed by $4.9 billion of claimed settlement with FTC, and lastly, a penalty to UK authorities of around $630,000.

The Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear in a six-hour deposition in the court on September 20, along with other senior executives from the company.

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The Cyber Express is a publication that aims to provide the latest news and analysis about the information security industry. The news comes from a variety of sources and is updated regularly so that readers can stay up to date with the latest happenings in this rapidly growing field.