DC attorney general sues Facebook over Cambridge Analytica

DC attorney general sues Facebook over Cambridge Analytica

The complaint filed Wednesday by Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine alleges that Facebook misled users about the security of their data and failed for years to properly monitor third-party apps.

It was revealed this week that Facebook's privacy controls had broken down yet again.

In March, revelations surfaced that Cambridge Analytica, which had ties to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, had improperly gained access to the data of up to 87 million Facebook users.

Cambridge Analytica in 2014 used data collected by a quiz app, which gathered information on those who used it as well as their friends, which numbered in the hundreds for many users.

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"Facebook's consumers reasonably expect that Facebook will take appropriate steps to maintain and protect their data", Racine said in a conference call Wednesday with reporters.

Facebook is "reviewing the complaint", a company spokesperson said in a statement, and looks "forward to continuing our discussions with attorneys general in DC and elsewhere".

A New York Times investigation has revealed that Facebook has been sharing WAY more of its users' data with other companies than we realized.

The lawsuit claimed that Facebook made it hard for users to control data sharing settings and didn't make it clear third-party apps have the ability to override some settings.

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The D.C. attorney general is seeking an injunction to ensure Facebook puts in place protocols and safeguards to monitor users' data and to make it easier for users to control their privacy settings.

Racine said Facebook had tried to settle the case before he filed the lawsuit, as is typical during investigations of large companies.

His filing said Facebook told users that it would protect their personal information, but allowed the app developer to collect and sell the data of users who had not downloaded or used the app. Facebook has already been battered this year in the markets as the data privacy scandal unfolded.

The fallout from Cambridge Analytica, which is still ongoing, led to congressional hearings in the United States and inquiries in the United Kingdom.

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Revelations about Facebook's response to manipulation of the social network before and after the 2016 USA presidential election, and shifting accounts about breaches of users' privacy, have battered the company's reputation and fueled frustration on Capitol Hill. Depending on how they turn out, the lawsuits and government probes could cost Facebook billions of dollars more in penalties.