Meta to pay US$725 to U.S. Facebook users over Cambridge Analytica scandal

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The fallout from the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal continues to weigh on Facebook and its parent Meta platform.

Reuters reports Meta has agreed to pay US$725 million to resolve a US class-action lawsuit accusing Facebook of allowing British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to access the personal information of 87 million users in multiple countries. Is charged. US, the 2016 Brexit referendum and that year’s US election. To target political ads in the federal election.

Meta did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement, which is subject to approval by a federal judge in San Francisco, Reuters said.

If approved, the settlement would address claims from Facebook users that the company violated various federal and state laws by allowing app developers and business partners to harvest their personal data without their consent on a broad basis.

Reuters says the users’ lawyers allege Facebook misled them into thinking they could keep control of personal data, when in fact it allowed thousands of favored outsiders to gain access.

The news agency says Facebook argued that its users have no legitimate privacy interest in the information they share with friends on social media. But US District Judge Vince Chhabria called that idea “so wrong”, and allowed the case to proceed at large in 2019.

In contrast, an attempt by Canadian Facebook users to launch a class action lawsuit against Facebook It was struck down by an Ontario judge earlier this year.

In 2019, Facebook agreed to pay US$5 billion to resolve a Federal Trade Commission investigation into its privacy practices, and US$100 million to settle claims from the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it misled investors about its misuse of users’ data.

in Canada, The federal privacy commissioner has taken Facebook to court. after the social media company refused to acknowledge that it had violated the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) in collecting information from an estimated 622,000 Canadians.

The data came from an app that was offered to Facebook users by Aleksandr Kogan, a researcher at the University of Cambridge, called a personality quiz. it’s your digital life for academic research. Unknown to the participants, the data was shared with SCL Election and its subsidiary, Cambridge Analytica. The list of individuals, based on the modeling by SCL and Kogan, was then provided to British Columbia-based AggregateIQ for the placement of targeted political ads on Facebook.

What the quiz participants didn’t realize was that allowing access to their personal profiles could also lead to access to their followers’ profiles. So, for example, while only 53 people in Australia it’s your digital life The app, according to court documents, was able to harvest the data of approximately 311,127 people.

Facebook in February Lost a major battle with the Australian privacy regulator relating to Cambridge Analytica, after a court rejected the social media giant’s claim that it neither conducts business in the country nor collects personal information. The decision allowed the Privacy Commissioner to continue with the lawsuit against Facebook.

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