Cambridge Analytica: Mark Zuckerberg escapes another stint in court

Facebook released the checkbook. While Mark Zuckerberg was to be questioned by the courts in September as part of a class action about the Cambridge Analytica affair, it will not be. The CEO of the company — now known as Meta — reached an agreement with the plaintiffs to end the case.

A 4 year old lawsuit.

Remember, in 2018, Facebook was facing one of the most important controversies in its history. The social network had indeed shared for years the personal information of 87 million of its users with the firm Cambridge Analytica. All without consent, of course. This digital war chest had notably been exploited by Donald Trump’s campaign team to convince Internet users to vote for the one who would become the 45th President of the United States.

The case and all its repercussions had occupied the media space for months and had attracted the attention of justice and politicians. Shortly after these revelations, Facebook therefore inherited a nice class action lawsuit for mismanagement of personal data. Its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, as well as the company’s former No. 2, Sheryl Sandberg, who left the company recently, therefore had to be questioned by the courts to present their version of the facts.

Slowness of the judiciary and Covid oblige, these interrogations should have taken place in September 2022. The two officials were expected for marathon sessions of five and six hours – which would undoubtedly have brought no new element. But it will therefore be nothing, an agreement between the two parties having been reached. Details are not available, but no doubt the company generously opened its wallet to erase its faults.

The price of tranquility

Fortunately, this trial was not the only opportunity to hear Mark Zuckerberg make his my culpa. The CEO has already passed in front of the American Congress and in the Brussels hemicycle to reassure the European deputies. This isn’t the first time Facebook has stepped in to protect its CEO either. In 2021, we learned that the company had paid 5 billion to the American trade policeman in order to prevent Mark Zuckerberg from being “subject to personal liability, or even required to sit for a deposition“.

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