Facebook parent settles case in Cambridge Analytica scandal

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Facebook’s corporate parent has reached a preliminary settlement in a lawsuit alleging the world’s largest social networking service allowed millions of users’ personal information to be fed to Cambridge Analytica, a firm that backed Donald Trump’s victorious 2016 presidential campaign.

Terms of the settlement reached by Meta Platforms, the holding company for Facebook and Instagram, were not disclosed in court documents filed late Friday. The filing in federal court in San Francisco asked for a 60-day stay while lawyers finalize the settlement. This timeline suggested that further details could be revealed by the end of October.

The deal was reached just weeks before a Sept. 20 deadline for Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his longtime chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, to submit to depositions in the final stages of pretrial evidence gathering, according to court documents.

Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook in 2004 as a student at Harvard University, could have been deposed for up to six hours. Sandberg, who is stepping down as operations manager after 14 years, could have been questioned for up to five hours.

The case stems from revelations in 2018 that Cambridge Analytica, a firm with ties to Trump political strategist Stephen Bannon, had paid a Facebook app developer to access the personal information of around 87 million Facebook users. This data was then used to target American voters during the 2016 campaign that culminated in Trump’s election as the 45th president.

The surefire uproar led to a contrite Zuckerberg being grilled by lawmakers at a high-profile congressional hearing and spurred calls for people to delete their Facebook accounts. Although Facebook’s growth has stalled as more people connect and entertain themselves on rival services like TikTok, the social network still has about 2 billion users worldwide, including nearly 200 million in the United States and Canada.

The lawsuit, which had sought to be certified as a class action representing Facebook users, had argued that the privacy breach proved that Facebook is a “data broker and surveillance company” as well as a social network.

Source link

Back to top button