The fallout from Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal has been going on for more than four years after it was first disclosed. Parent company Meta has agreed to pay $725 million to settle a long-running class action lawsuit accusing Facebook of allowing Cambridge Analytica and other third parties to access the user’s private information. Reuters reported.
The settlement resolves user allegations that Facebook violated federal and state laws by allowing the company to collect personal data from preferred vendors and partners without consent. This is reportedly the largest ever in a US data privacy class action and the highest ever paid by Meta to settle a class action lawsuit.
“This historic settlement will provide meaningful relief to the class in this complex and new privacy case,” the plaintiffs’ leading attorneys said in a statement.
Meta admitted that he did not commit any crimes as part of the settlement, which is still subject to approval by a federal judge. “Over the past three years, we have renewed our approach to privacy and implemented a comprehensive privacy program,” Meta said in a statement.
The now-defunct Cambridge Analytica worked for the 2016 presidential campaigns of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. It accessed the personal data of up to 87 million people through an app (thisisyourdigitallife) and used the collected information to target individuals with personally crafted messages. Scandal revealed New York Times and Guard In 2018, thanks in large part to informant Christopher Wylie.
In 2019, Facebook agreed to pay a $5 billion fine following the Federal Trade Commission investigation and a $100 million fine to settle the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission allegations. He also paid a fine of £500,000 (about $644,000) to the UK; this is very little compared to what he would have paid had the GDPR been in effect when the scandal occurred.
Facebook has yet to put Cambridge Analytica behind it, either. The company is still tackling a lawsuit filed by the Washington DC attorney general and a number of state attorneys.
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