Meta has agreed to pay $725 million USD to settle a class action lawsuit that claimed the tech giant gave third parties access to Facebook …
The owner of Facebook, Meta Platforms Inc (META.O), has consented to pay $725 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging that the company illegally shared users’ personal information with third parties including Cambridge Analytica. The proposed settlement was revealed in a suit filed late on Thursday; if approved, it would end a lengthy litigation that began after it was discovered in 2018 that Facebook had granted the British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica access to the information of as many as 87 million users.
According to plaintiffs’ counsel, the proposed payment is the highest ever reached in a U.S. data protection civil lawsuit and the most money Meta has ever compensated to end a class action case. Attorneys Derek Loeser and Lesley Weaver, who are in charge of the plaintiffs’ legal strategy, have released a statement in which they claim that “this significant settlement will provide real relief to the class in this difficult and unusual privacy issue.”
Meta’s Behalf Settlement
The settlement is contingent upon the authorization of a judicial officer in San Francisco, and it does not involve any admission of wrong doing on Meta’s behalf. The firm issued a statement calling the settlement “in the key importance of our communities and stockholders.” Meta remarked, “Over the past three years, we have revised our approach to privacy and created a comprehensive privacy program.” After working on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, now-defunct Cambridge Analytica obtained access to the personal data of billions of Facebook users for the objectives of voter segmentation and targeting.
Cambridge Analytica illegally stole the data from a scholar who had been given permission by Facebook to utilize the platform to collect information on its users. The resulting Cambridge Analytica incident prompted numerous investigations by various governments into the company’s privacy policies, as well as numerous lawsuits and a highly publicized congressional hearing in the United States, at which Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg was questioned by lawmakers. Facebook paid $5 billion in 2019 to settle a Federal Trade Commission investigation into its privacy practices and another $100 million to resolve U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges that it deceived investors about the misuse of user data.
There are still open investigations by the state attorneys general, and the firm is defending itself against a lawsuit filed by the solicitor general of the District of Columbia. Facebook users’ allegations that the firm broke federal and state laws by allowing application developers and business associates to collect their personal information without their consent were settled in a settlement announced on Thursday. Lawyers for the individuals claimed Facebook deceived them into assuming they could maintain control over their data when, in fact, Facebook let thousands of favored outsider’s accesses
Facebook Platform Network
Facebook claimed its users have had no reasonable expectation of privacy about the information they made public on the platform. However, United States District Judge Vince Chhabria deemed that perspective “so incorrect” and in 2019 mainly permitted the lawsuit to proceed. According to the court document filed on Thursday, the settlement affects between 250 and 280 million Facebook users. The number of eligible claimants will determine how much of the settlement will be allocated to each user. The plaintiffs’ attorneys have stated their intent to request a fee award of equal to 25percent of the settlement, or roughly $181 million.