Facebook, Inc. is facing a proposed class action lawsuit after allegedly failing to prevent or warn users of a data mining scandal in which their information was reportedly stolen and used to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Facebook, Inc. is facing another proposed class action lawsuit filed in California after allegedly failing to prevent or warn users of a data mining scandal in which their information was reportedly stolen and used to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
According to the complaint, non-party Cambridge Analytica launched an application in 2014 called “ThisIsYourDigitalLife” – a personality survey purporting to collect Facebook user information “for academic purposes.” Unbeknownst to survey participants, their personal information – and the information of their Facebook friends – was collected and used by the Trump campaign to “target voters online” during the election, the case says. The lawsuit argues that Facebook users did not consent to have their information shared with third parties and that the social media giant’s supposed failure to protect this data violated its own “terms of service” to which users agreed when they signed up for their accounts.
Further, the suit argues that the defendant knew of the data breach but failed to notify the approximately 87 million affected users that their information may have been compromised “until forced to confront the issue on March 17, 2018.” On this date, The New York Times published an article reporting that Cambridge Analytica had improperly collected Facebook users’ information without their knowledge or consent, leading to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitting that his company “didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility” to prevent third parties from misusing data.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a proposed class of “[a]ll Facebook users in the United States with Facebook accounts whose personal information was obtained by Cambridge from 2014 to 2015 without or in excess of the users’ authorization.”