- Meta Platforms to pay $725 million to settle the legal dispute that has been going on since 2018 regarding privacy concerns of its users.
- In the 2010s, British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica collected personal data from millions of Facebook users without their consent.
- Meta Platforms admits no wrongdoing in the settlement but takes steps to avoid third-party data sharing by letting users see their third-party app activity.
Meta Platforms, the owner of Whatsapp, Facebook, and Instagram has agreed to pay $725 million to settle the legal dispute after the incident in 2018. It turns out that Facebook allows third-party apps such as Cambridge Analytica to access user information without consent for political advertising. Over 87 million users’ data were accessed.
Facebook and privacy concerns, once again
During the 2010s, British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica collected personal data from millions of Facebook users without their consent. This data was collected through an app called This Is Your Digital Life. The app asked multiple questions to build psychological profiles of Facebook users and collected personal information to help Ted Cruz and Donald Trump’s presidential campaigns.
The Times reported that Cambridge suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix after a British television channel released an undercover video in which he suggested that the company had used seduction and bribery to entrap politicians and influence foreign elections. In Washington, the Federal Trade Commission moved to investigate whether Facebook had violated an early agreement to safeguard user data.
Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg was seen facing questions from senators in a hearing held after the Cambridge Analytica incident.
“thisisyourdigitallife” was subsequently suspended by Facebook in 2015 for violating its platform policies, and the company also legally demanded GSR and Cambridge Analytica remove their collected data compensation.
At the time, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said:
« This was a breach of trust between Kogan, Cambridge Analytica, and Facebook, but it was also a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it. »
Meta takes no responsibility in the settlement
Meta Platforms admits no wrongdoing in the settlement which requires approval by a federal judge in San Francisco. In a statement, the company said the settlement was “in the best interest of our community and our shareholders.” Although no admittance of any wrongdoing, Meta Platforms has taken steps to reduce third-party data sharing.
The lead lawyers for the plaintiffs, Derek Loeser and Lesley Weaver said:
« This historic settlement will provide meaningful relief to the class in this complex and novel privacy case. »