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Meta pays $725 million over Cambridge Analytica scandal


The dubious consulting firm Cambridge Analytica obtained the data of millions of Facebook users, and the case is still disputed to this day. A class action lawsuit should now result in a settlement.

Mark Zuckerberg at a hearing in 2018: 87 million Facebook members were affected by the Cambridge Analytica scandal


Facebook parent company Meta has agreed to pay $725 million to settle a class action lawsuit.

The settlement, which was revealed in a court filing late Thursday and still has to be approved by a judge, looks set to end a lengthy legal battle in which Facebook users have been suing the company.

The dispute was sparked by revelations in 2018, when it was revealed that the dubious policy consultancy Cambridge Analytica had unlawfully obtained data on up to 87 million network members.

The British consulting firm was involved in the Brexit campaign in 2016, among other things, but no longer exists.

The company obtained the data of the 87 million users through an online personality test on Facebook.

Psychologist Aleksandr Kogan was responsible for the corresponding app for the 2014 network.

Those who took part in his test gave Kogan access to their own data, but also to data from their own Facebook circle of friends.

Through these mechanisms, Kogan was able to collect a large amount of user data - which he then sold to Cambridge Analytica.

The analysis company wanted to use the data for tailor-made advertising campaigns in election campaigns, including for Donald Trump's presidential candidacy in 2016. Facebook users were not informed about the data disclosure.

Facebook has already had to pay a fine of five billion dollars

Meta admitted no wrongdoing in relation to the class action, but said the settlement was "in the best interests of our community and our shareholders."

The company also emphasized that over the past three years it has revised its approach to data protection and implemented a comprehensive data protection program.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs called the proposed sum the largest ever reached in a US privacy class action and the largest Meta has ever paid to settle a class action.

The US federal authorities had already fined Meta, which at the time was still called Facebook, a five billion dollar fine in July 2019 because of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-12-23

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