Mark Zuckerberg can pay the price for Facebook’s past sins.
Following Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 US presidential election, Facebook was accused of allowing Cambridge Analytica, a company specialized in tactical communications, to use the data of nearly 50 million users to influence voters on behalf of the Republican candidate.
At first the agency became defensive, denying that it had any responsibility for the broadcast, which proved to be a Russian conspiracy.
But after many lawsuits and many boycotts, Facebook took responsibility for the information on its platform and promised to do better in the future by recognizing and removing integrated misinformation.
But the changes came too little and too late for some, and in 2018, Washington DC Attorney General Carl Resin sued Facebook for scandal.
The lawsuit, which is still pending, claims that Facebook failed to protect its users ‘data, enabling abuses that left nearly half of all district residents’ data open for political manipulation during the 2016 election.
Resin has made punishing the company one of his priorities. Earlier this year, a judge ruled against the attorney general, denying Zuckerberg a request to be included in the case.
That request was rejected on the grounds that adding a boss a few years after the lawsuit was filed would not work in the best interests of the company’s customers.
Discouraged, Resin’s next step was to sue him directly.
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Mark Zuckerberg faces DC case
Although Zuckerberg has changed Facebook’s branding to Meta Platform and is in the process of moving his company to Metaverse, those changes have not stopped the District of Columbia from taking action against him and his company.
“Facebook therefore encourages developers and researchers (and sometimes, along with them) to collect and analyze Facebook user data so that it can better learn how to manipulate the mood of its own users and influence what they buy and even How to vote. ”
The lawsuit points to Facebook’s decision in 2010 to open its platform to third parties. The move was directed by Zuckerberg, Resin said.
“Zuckerberg was fully aware that users would be concerned about this new vulnerability. So Zuckerberg was engaged in a decade-long campaign designed to persuade users to take care of and protect Facebook users and their data. But behind closed doors, Zuckerberg insisted. Given that Facebook’s policies are ‘as easy as we can get’.
The new lawsuit alleges that Facebook and Cambridge Analytica had a long-standing relationship and that previous companies, like the latter, encouraged companies to use the Facebook platform to influence and manipulate consumer behavior.
And now, DC AG is using Zuckerberg’s own words in his lawsuit against the 38-year-old billionaire.
“Zuckerberg has repeatedly said that he and Facebook have a responsibility to protect users, and if they can’t, they are ‘unworthy of service’. [them]. ‘ Accordingly, the District brings this case to confirm that Mark Zuckerberg for his role on Facebook is responsible for violating the district’s consumer protection laws by protecting user data and their blatant disregard and misuse of sensitive, personal data belonging to district residents. It has been said in the case.
Zuckerberg could personally impose fines on him. The company paid a record $ 5 billion in fines to the Federal Trade Commission in 2019 for the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Meta did not immediately return a request for comment.