Facebook to Pay Over $700 Million Dollars to Settle Scandal

According to a US District Court filing, Meta, the parent company behind Facebook, agreed to settle the Cambridge Analytica case for $725 million. The proposed settlement would end a case that has been ongoing since 2018.

As part of the case, Facebook was accused of allowing a third-party consulting company to access data from nearly 87 million users.

Cambridge Analytica is a now-defunct firm that worked with Donald Trump on his 2016 presidential campaign. It obtained personal information from Facebook accounts to target voters and profile them without their consent.

This case forced governments all over the globe to review their privacy practices. Facebook agreed to pay $5 billion in 2019 to end a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) probe and $100 million more to settle claims by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) related to user privacy and data use.

A federal judge from San Francisco’s Northern District of California court has yet to approve the settlement. Reuters quoted Meta saying that the company did not admit to any wrongdoing, and claimed that it had “revamped privacy” and created a comprehensive privacy program.

The company is currently defending a lawsuit against the Washington, D.C. attorney general.

Thursday’s settlement claims that Facebook violated several federal and state laws. App developers and business partners were allowed to harvest users’ personal data without their consent.

According to the lawyers representing users, Facebook misled them into believing they could control their personal data. In fact, it allowed thousands of outsiders to access this data.

According to Thursday’s court filing, the settlement will cover between 250 and 280 million Facebook users. The amount an individual user will receive depends on how many people file valid claims for a share of this settlement.

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