Facebook hit with four lawsuits in one week over Cambridge Analytica scandal

Illustration by William Joel / The Verge

Facebook has been sued four times in Northern California federal courts this week in response to the Cambridge Analytica data sharing scandal, SFGate reports. The London-based data analytics firm misused data from as many as 50 million users, as reports from The Guardian and The New York Times revealed last weekend.

A Facebook user, Lauren Price of Maryland, filed a suit in San Jose on Tuesday on behalf of up to 50 million people whose data was used by Cambridge Analytica. It’s a class action lawsuit that claims Facebook had “absolute disregard” for her personal data, despite allegedly stating it wouldn’t disclose data without permission or at least notice. The suit also noted that during the 2016 presidential election, Price often saw political ads on her own Facebook feed.

Individual shareholders in Facebook, Fan Yuan and Robert Casey, each filed their own class action lawsuit against the company, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and CFO David Wehner. The plaintiffs seek to recover the losses incurred when Facebook’s stock tanked this week, which cost the company nearly 10 percent of its market value.

The fourth lawsuit, submitted yesterday in San Jose by attorney Jeremiah Hallisey, is filed on behalf of the company’s shareholders against Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg, and board members. The suit claims that the executives and board of directors failed to stop the data breach or tell users about it when it happened, and therefore violated their fiduciary duty.

Hallisey is asking for payment that restores the company shareholders to their previous positions and a court order for Facebook to improve its internal processes. We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment.

You can read two of the four filings here:

The Cambridge Analytica scandal

What happened 8
Facebook reacts 8
The world reacts 12
The apology tour 6
Zuckerberg testifies 14
What you can do 5

Comments

I mean, I know why everyone is having kittens about this, but it was never a secret and facebook discontinued the open graph api in 2015. When it was done in 2012 by another presidential campaign they were lauded as "digital masterminds". Still, a good outcome through hypocrites is still a good outcome.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/23/magazine/the-obama-campaigns-digital-masterminds-cash-in.html

http://swampland.time.com/2012/11/20/friended-how-the-obama-campaign-connected-with-young-voters/

To be clear, CA definitely misused the data and did something wrong, it’s just disappointing that the outrage didn’t happen sooner

Here’s a choice gem from the NYT article

The campaign’s exhaustive use of Facebook triggered the site’s internal safeguards. "It was more like we blew through an alarm that their engineers hadn’t planned for or knew about," said St. Clair, who had been working at a small firm in Chicago and joined the campaign at the suggestion of a friend. "They’d sigh and say, ‘You can do this as long as you stop doing it on Nov. 7.’ "

People also sued Facebook after the stock dropped 50% after the IPO. Anyone that just kept those shares would be much happier today.

This is a bigger problem, not just Facebook, all online companies that collects user data, even Apple, Google, Samsung, ATT, Amazon etc. Collecting and analyzing data is the easy part. What they do with the data collected can be criminal. The IRS and credit companies hack is way worse than this and I don’t see anyone going to jail from that.

Damn Gina!

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