Two more plaintiffs have filed yet another proposed class action against Facebook, Inc. over the company’s alleged failure to protect its users’ private information. The lawsuit centers on the time period between April 21, 2010 and April 30, 2015, when the social media platform’s design specifically allowed third-party apps—namely the personality quiz called “thisisyourdigitallife”—capable of capturing user data to harvest that of possibly hundreds of millions of Americans without their consent. Roughly 300,000 Facebook users were induced into downloading the “thisisyourdigitallife” app between June and August 2014, the lawsuit states, which enabled Cambridge Analytica to harvest millions of unknowing users’ data.
According to the lawsuit, while Cambridge Analytica happens to be the highest-profile third-party data harvester to emerge thus far, the company is far from the only questionable actor in this saga. From the complaint:
“Cambridge Analytica is only the most sensational and widely-publicized example of this practice, but there are many more app developers who were similarly able to obtain massive amounts of information without the consent of the owners of the information and without any meaningful oversight by Facebook. This case is about Facebook’s data sharing practices with all third-party app developers until changes were imposed in April 2015.”
The lawsuit grimly claims it’s too late to undo what Facebook has allowed to happen to its users, as harvested information cannot be retrieved or destroyed once acquired by third-party companies.
The plaintiffs seek to represent those whose non-public Facebook data—including personal details, personally identifiable information regarding prerecorded video content, and the contents of personal electronic communications—was relayed to a third party using the defendant’s Friends Scrape Feature.