Facebook Hands Over Nearly A Billion Dollars Over Cambridge Analytica

(PresidentialHill.com)- Meta Platforms Inc. last week agreed to a proposed settlement to pay $725 million to resolve a class-action lawsuit that accused the social media giant of permitting third parties of having access to Facebook users’ personal information.

The proposed settlement would resolve a long-running lawsuit prompted by the 2018 revelation that Facebook allowed the British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to access the data of as many as 87 million users.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs called the proposed settlement the largest ever in a US data privacy class action and the most that Meta has ever paid to resolve a class action suit.

In a joint statement last Thursday, the lead lawyers for the plaintiffs, Derek Loeser and Lesley Weaver, described the proposed settlement as “historic” and said it would “provide meaningful relief” to the plaintiffs in the case.

As part of the proposed settlement, which is pending approval by a federal judge in San Francisco, Meta will not admit any wrongdoing.

In a statement last Thursday, Meta said that settling the case was “in the best interest of our community and shareholders.”

The social media giant said since the 2018 revelations, the company has revamped its approach to privacy and “implemented a comprehensive privacy program.”

The now-defunct Cambridge Analytica worked for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 during which it gained access to the personal information of millions of Facebook users for voter profiling and targeting. The information was obtained without users’ consent from a researcher that Facebook allowed to deploy an app that harvested data from millions of its users.

The 2018 Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal prompted government investigations into social media privacy practices, lawsuits, and a high-profile congressional hearing where CEO Mark Zuckerberg was forced to testify.

In 2019, Facebook agreed to pay $5 billion to settle a Federal Trade Commission probe into its privacy practices. That same year, it paid a $100 million settlement to the Securities and Exchange Commission over claims that Facebook misled investors about the misuse of user data.