Zuckerberg, Former Facebook Directors In Hot Seat Again Over Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Benzinga · 05/11/2023 03:54

A Delaware judge has allowed investors to proceed with their allegations of lax privacy oversight against Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ:META) CEO Mark Zuckerberg and former directors of the company.

What Happened: Months after Meta agreed to pay $725 million to settle investors’ claims in California related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Zuckerberg and former Facebook directors have been ordered by a judge to face allegations of turning a blind eye to widespread privacy violations, reported Bloomberg. 

This includes the collection of data on millions of users by a firm hired for former U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. 

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In a ruling on Wednesday, Delaware Chancery Court Judge Travis Laster cited alleged conflicts of interest and concluded that Facebook’s board couldn’t be relied upon to investigate the accusations of repeated breaches of users’ privacy as promised.

Judge Laster said in an oral ruling that the directors “affirmatively went along with” the behavior or chose to ignore it despite several red flags.

Why It Matters: Investors’ privacy lawsuits were linked to Facebook officials’ $5 billion fine paid to the U.S. government. The fine stemmed from a 2018 revelation about Facebook’s dealings with Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm hired by Trump.

The government investigation focused on Cambridge Analytica obtaining the personal data of millions of Facebook users through a third-party quiz app. The app’s creator collected data not only from its users but also from their friends, impacting millions of consumers.

Zuckerberg previously admitted the company’s mistake of relying on third-party app developers, including Cambridge Analytica and failing to implement sufficient measures to prevent improper use of user data.

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