Facebook Hit With First Lawsuits Over User Data Controversy

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First lawsuits prompted by the Cambridge Analytica scandal have already been filed against Facebook earlier this week, with one litigation originating from the social media giant’s own investors seeking to recoup losses incurred following the emergence of the controversy which erased approximately $37 billion of its market capitalization on Monday. The second legal complaint created as a result of the development is attributed to one Lauren Price from Maryland who opted to sue the company at San Jose-based U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on the basis that Cambridge Analytica violated her privacy, with the lawsuit alleging Facebook is guilty of a failure to act with the goal of preventing improper data harvesting.

Ms. Price is seeking class-action status for her lawsuit, having filed it on behalf of all American Facebook users compromised through the activities of Cambridge Analytica. Founded on the eve of 2014, the New York City-based firm has been accused of harvesting data of 50 million people on Facebook three and a half years ago via an online personality test that claimed the information collected from its users will only be utilized for academic purposes. According to an account of one Christopher Wylie, a former employee who blew the whistle on the firm last Sunday. The app ended up collecting personal information of both its participants and all of their Facebook friends, having profiled 50 million people in total despite the fact that it only obtained permission to do so from less than one-percent of them, i.e. had around 270,000 users participate in the misleading survey.

The data collected by a researcher who turned it over to the company was used to influence voters in the 2016 presidential election in the United States, according to recent reports. Facebook on Monday said it requested the data be deleted in 2015 but asserted the firm failed to comply, whereas Cambridge Analytica claimed it doesn’t have access to the data any longer earlier this week. Ms. Price’s lawsuit accuses Facebook of failing to stop “improper data aggregation,” alleging the company may have even actively sought to avoid gaining knowledge of such activities of its partners in order to be able to claim ignorance of user privacy violations.