Cambridge Analytica lawsuit results in a record $725 million

The long-running Cambridge Analytica lawsuit against Facebook’s parent company Meta has finally been settled. The social media company agreed to pay Facebook users a total of $725 million in exchange for sharing their personal data with the now-bankrupt political consulting firm.

The lawyers behind the case described the victory as “historic” and said it was the largest ever payout in a privacy lawsuit in the United States.

Background

The case dates back to 2014, when Cambridge Analytica, the then political consulting firm, used a third-party company to collect personal data from Facebook users under the guise of a “personality test”.

The data was intended to be used to profile and target US Facebook users to aid in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The cheat was revealed in 2018 Guard and New York TimesIt revealed that personal data was collected from as many as 50 million Facebook users (later it turned out to be 87M). The revelation led to multiple lawsuits and a #deletefacebook campaign, and even Apple CEO Tim Cook argued.

A class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of Facebook users whose data were compromised. Facebook had previously paid $5 billion to settle an FTC lawsuit against the company and another $100 million to settle a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit over Facebook’s data use that misled investors.

Cambridge Analytica lawsuit settled

Reuters reports that the Cambridge Analytica case is now settled. Facebook parent company Meta has agreed to pay $725 million to settle the case.

The proposed settlement, announced in a courtroom late Thursday, would settle a long-standing lawsuit that emerged in 2018 when it was revealed that Facebook had allowed British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to access the data of as many as 87 million users. […]

“This historic settlement will provide meaningful relief to the class in this complex and new privacy case,” the plaintiffs’ lead attorneys, Derek Loeser and Lesley Weaver, said in a joint statement.

As always with class action lawsuits, don’t plan on making any winter vacation purchases by chance. Lawyers usually fall somewhere in the 25-30% range and the balance is split up to 87 million people, so each user is likely to receive something like five dollars.

Photo: Mike Kononov/Unsplash

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