Washington, D.C.’s attorney general on Monday filed a lawsuit against Meta (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg, accusing him of being personally responsible for Cambridge Analytica data breaches.
In the lawsuit, Attorney General Carl Resin alleges that Zuckerberg’s failure to protect consumer data privacy led to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which millions of Facebook users unknowingly used their data in an attempt to influence 2016. Election for Donald Trump.
“Evidence shows that Mr. Zuckerberg was personally involved in the failure to protect the privacy and data of Facebook users, which led directly to the Cambridge Analytica incident,” Resin said in a statement.
A civil lawsuit filed in the District of Columbia Superior Court alleges that Zuckerberg violated the Consumer Protection Act, the district’s general consumer protection law.
“This unprecedented security breach has exposed the personal information of millions of Americans, and Mr. Zuckerberg’s policies have enabled many years of efforts to confuse users about the extent of Facebook’s misconduct. They will be held accountable for their actions, “said Resin.
Meta has been at the center of controversy since the first news of Cambridge Analytica broke. In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission ordered Facebook to pay 5 billion in fines related to the scandal. Governments and regulators around the world, including the FTC, are cracking down on social media giants through antitrust lawsuits and laws.
According to Resin, the latest lawsuit against Zuckerberg comes as a result of an existing investigation and lawsuit filed against Facebook in 2018 following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Resin claims that Zuckerberg Meter holds the largest number of shares and makes the final statement about what could happen to the company, so he is ultimately responsible for Facebook’s day-to-day operations. As a result, Resin claims, Zuckerberg is also responsible for the events that led to the scandal.
According to Peter Oh, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, it is unclear how strong the lawsuit against Zuckerberg could be.
“There’s a clear possibility that this could be a case that could be politically motivated by the attorney general. On the other hand, there’s a very valid reason why the attorney general decided to do it,” Oh told Yahoo Finance.
If Resin’s allegations survive, Oh explained, it’s likely to be a wake-up call for the meta-CEO, as he could be personally liable.
And there is a real risk that the case will go ahead, Oh, Zuckerberg has a history of providing evidence for the company’s activities.
Zuckerberg has said publicly that, effectively, Buck stops with him – that he runs the company, that he owns the company, and therefore, that the company should be held accountable for what it does. Calling Bluff, ”Oh said.
A Meter spokesman told Yahoo Finance that the company had no comment.
This is not the first time that Resin has personally followed Zuckerberg. He had earlier tried to name the CEO personally responsible for leaking user data in a 2018 case involving Cambridge Analytica. The judge in the case, however, dismissed the motion, saying Resin had waited too long to name Zuckerberg in the case.
Since the lawsuit filed by Racine in 2018, Facebook has changed its name. In October 2021, the company rebranded Facebook as Meta to focus on Metaverse, although some commentators suspected that the name change was a way to keep itself out of Facebook’s ongoing legal trouble.
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