Cambridge Analytica: Meta pays $725 million to end class action lawsuit

Millions to extinguish anger. Meta Group, owner of Facebook, will pay 725 million dollars to end a class action brought by users against Facebook in 2018. The latter denounced the sharing of their personal data with the company Cambridge Analytica. The announcement was relayed in particular by our colleagues from Guardian Friday, December 23.

A historic sum

All of the victims of the collective complaint against Facebook will be compensated. The dispute concerns the sharing of the personal data of tens of millions of users without their knowledge for the benefit of the consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. No consent would have been requested by Facebook to distribute the information of Internet users to the company. 30 million to 70 million Facebook users could have been affected.

Derek Loeser and Lesley Weaver, the plaintiffs’ lawyers, underline the importance of the sum released by Meta to compensate the victims. “This settlement will provide significant relief to the group in this complex and unprecedented privacy case”, they said after the news broke. A historic amount in view of previous cases in the field. According to a court document consulted by our colleagues, this “would be the largest class action data privacy or data breach settlement ever achieved in the United States”.

During the trial, Facebook had estimated for its defense that its users could not expect absolute confidentiality of the information they had already published, knowing that the latter would be visible to their friends. A claim challenged by Judge Vince Chhabria in 2019. “Sharing information with your friends on social media does not categorically eliminate your interest in the privacy of that information”, he had decided. In the agreement proposed by Meta, no wrongdoing is admitted by the American firm. The latter must still be approved by the judge.

For its part, the parent company of Facebook reacted after the announcement of this financial settlement. “We have sought to secure an agreement because it is in the best interests of our community and our shareholders. Over the past three years, we have revamped our approach to privacy and implemented a comprehensive privacy program. We look forward to continuing to build services people love and trust, putting privacy first.”said a spokesperson for the company founded by Mark Zuckerberg.

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