Meta Platforms Inc, Facebook’s parent company, agreed to pay $725 million to settle the lawsuit accusing the social media giant of allowing Cambridge Analytica and other third parties to access users’ personal information.
This agreement will put an end to a protracted legal dispute in which Facebook was accused of giving British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica access to the data of over 87 million users.
However, as part of the agreement, Meta made no admission of wrongdoing. The company said this settlement is “in the best interest of our community and shareholders.”
“Over the last three years we revamped our approach to privacy and implemented a comprehensive privacy program,” Meta said.
Now defunct, Cambridge Analytica was involved in Donald Trump’s presidential elections in 2016. The company was accused of accessing personal data from more than 87 million Facebook accounts. The data was used for the voter framework.
Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica to deploy an app on its media network that harvested the data of millions of Facebook users. By allowing business partners to gather users’ data without their consent, Facebook users’ claims that the firm broke many federal and state laws were resolved by this settlement.
The plaintiff’s attorneys said that Facebook astrayed people into believing that they could maintain control over personal data when, in reality, it allowed a number of preferred partners to gain access. The attorneys referred to this settlement as the largest ever achieved in a US data privacy class action as well as the largest sum that Meta has ever paid to settle litigation.
Plaintiff’s attorneys say they intend to request the judge to award them up to 25% of the settlement as attorneys’ fees which equates to $181 million.