Facebook agrees to pay 725 million in lawsuit over Cambridge Analytica scandal | NEWS | D.W.

Facebook parent Meta has agreed to pay $725 million to settle a 2018 lawsuit that accused the social network of allowing third parties – including Cambridge Analytica – to access users’ private data. The settlement amount was disclosed late on Thursday (12.22.2022) following a court filing.

“The proposed settlement of US$725,000,000 is the largest recovery ever achieved in a data privacy class action lawsuit and the most Facebook has ever paid to settle a private class action lawsuit,” the plaintiffs’ representatives said in the filing. “This landmark settlement will provide significant relief in this complex and novel privacy case,” lead attorneys for the plaintiffs, Derek Loeser and Lesley Weaver, said in a joint statement.

Facebook did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, which still needs to be approved by a San Francisco judge. “We are seeking an agreement because it is in the best interest of our community and our shareholders,” Meta spokeswoman Dina El-Kassaby Luce said in a statement. “Over the past three years, we’ve renewed our approach to privacy and implemented a comprehensive privacy program,” she added.

It had been reported in August that Facebook had reached a preliminary settlement, though the amount and terms were not disclosed at the time. The lawsuit began in 2018, when Facebook users accused the social network of violating privacy rules by sharing their data with third parties, including British firm Cambridge Analytica, linked to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Cambridge Analytica, which has since shut down, collected and exploited the personal data of 87 million Facebook users without their consent, according to the lawsuit. That information was allegedly used in the development of software to guide American voters in favor of Trump. Facebook has since taken steps to better protect data, but federal authorities fined it $5 billion in 2019 for misleading its users and imposed independent oversight of its handling of personal data.

lgc (afp/rtr/efe)