Yet another proposed class action lawsuit has been filed against Facebook, Inc. and Cambridge Analytica over the companies’ roles in the misuse of user data.
According to the 25-page suit, Facebook’s “seemingly unrestricted surveillance and analysis” of users’ behaviors far exceeds how proposed class members expect their personal information to be used. The lawsuit says users are not properly informed that their information is, in effect, the subject of Facebook experiments. Similarly, the case continues, users are not adequately told their ostensibly innocent interactions on the platform, such as “likes,” can be wielded to predict—with great accuracy—their sexual orientation, ethnicity, political and religious views and even drug use.
“The full extent of Facebook’s surveillance capitalism remains secret,” the lawsuit alleges.
The case details not only pro-advertiser upgrades made to Facebook’s platform over the years—such as more robust targeting capabilities and the ability to track users across any website that contains a “Like” button—that opened up users’ data for analysis, but also gets into how such information has gone toward the construction of psychographic profiles by third parties without proposed class members’ consent or knowledge.
At the center of the complaint, predictably, is Cambridge Analytica’s backroom role in the 2016 presidential election, having, according to the company’s CEO, done “all the research, all the data, all the analytics, all the targeting” and running all the digital campaigns for then-nominee Donald Trump.
“During this time, Facebook, failed to take appropriate corrective action, despite being aware that Cambridge Analytica was using Facebook data in this manner,” the lawsuit charges.
ClassAction.org’s coverage of the litigation filed in the wake of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal can be foundhere.