- Facebook’s parent company Meta has settled a class action lawsuit related to the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal.
- The proposed settlement was referred to as the highest sum ever paid by Meta and the largest ever agreed upon in a U.S. data privacy class action.
- Meta did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the agreement.
A class-action lawsuit over the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting issue has been settled for $725 million by Facebook’s parent company Meta.
The agreement, which was originally reported by Reuters earlier today, comes after news broke about four months ago that Meta had put forth a settlement proposal in the Northern District of California, where the lawsuit was initially brought over four years ago.
In the following years, Meta resisted the lawsuit, which combined grievances from other Facebook users, claiming that those who freely joined the social network should have no legitimate expectations of privacy. The judge supervising the case in 2019 termed this argument “simply ridiculous.”
The proposed payment was described as the largest ever reached in a U.S. data privacy class action and the highest amount ever paid by Meta to settle a class action case by the plaintiffs’ attorneys.
As part of the deal, which must be approved by a federal judge in San Francisco, Meta did not admit any wrongdoing. In a statement, the business claimed that settling was “in the best interest of our community and stockholders.”
They have changed their approach to privacy over the past three years, and they’ve put in place a thorough privacy program, according to Meta.
The scandal in question, which is just one of many to have rocked the Facebook world over the years, involves the now-defunct U.K. political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which used a survey app called MyDigitalLife to collect data from tens of millions of Facebook users and used that data to influence voting behavior through targeted advertisements.
Following the privacy controversy, several fines and settlements were reached. Meta (then known as Facebook) agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) $5 billion as part of a settlement, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) $100 million for deceiving investors, and the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office a meager £500,000 ($600,000).