Several top Meta executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg, and the person set to replace Sandberg as COO when she leaves the company later this year, are set to give depositions in a lawsuit about the Cambridge Analytica scandal (via Bloomberg). According to a court document filed earlier this week, Zuckerberg will have to answer questions for up to six hours, while Sandberg could face up to five hours of deposition.
You can read the full filing below if you want to see the plaintiffs and Meta argue about what the company has and has not provided during the discovery period.
The lawsuit, which could wind up as a class action case if a judge agrees to it, alleges that Facebook illegally shared user data with third parties and didn’t adequately protect that data from being abused by bad actors. It stems from a case where Cambridge Analytica, a firm working for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was able to scrape data from millions of Facebook profiles without getting permission from those users. It later came out that the tactics they used to do so weren’t exactly novel. If you want to do a deep dive into the saga, you can check out our Cambridge Analytica page here.
This isn’t the first time Zuckerberg will be in the hot seat over the scandal — in 2018, he had to testify in front of Congress, though it’s debatable how effective the questions were. Around that time, Sandberg was answering to the press, talking about Facebook’s failures when it came to Cambridge Analytica and justifying its business model.
While it seems unlikely that these depositions will contain shocking revelations that remained hidden in the years since the scandal started, the fact that Meta’s top leadership is getting questioned is a big milestone in this case that’s been ongoing since 2018. The depositions are set to happen sometime before September 20th.