Facebook sued over Cambridge Analytica data leak

US Top Prosecutor Sues Facebook Over Data Breach Accusations

Flashback: I reported back in July how Facebook's stock suffered the worst single-day market loss in history back in July amid the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Attorney General Karl Racine said company's practices exposed 340,000 District residents - almost half of D.C.'s population - to potential "manipulation for political purposes". The Washington Post reports that this is "the first major effort" by U.S. regulators to punish Facebook over its involvement with the British political consulting firm, which was allowed to gain access to personal data of millions of the social network's users without their permission.

At least six US states have ongoing investigations into Facebook's privacy practices, according to state officials.

A "whistleblower" at the consultancy said it used Facebook data to develop profiles of users who were targeted with personalized messages that could have played on their fears.

The information of more than 340,000 District of Columbia residents was exposed but only 860 downloaded the quiz, Racine noted.

"Facebook's consumers reasonably expect that Facebook will take appropriate steps to maintain and protect their data", Racine said in a conference call Wednesday with reporters.

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The lawsuit claimed that Facebook made it hard for users to control data sharing settings and didn't make it clear third-party apps have the ability to override some settings. "In our lawsuit, we're seeking to hold Facebook accountable for jeopardizing and exposing the information" of its customers.

Privacy settings on Facebook to control what friends on the network could see and what data could be accessed by apps were also deceiving, Racine said.

The Post said the suit could foreshadow other potential legal action and punishments on the way for Facebook as other state and federal investigations continue.

Context: Zuckerberg's drop in net worth is because of multiple scandals plaguing his company, Facebook.

The fallout from Cambridge Analytica, which is still ongoing, led to congressional hearings in the United States and inquiries in the United Kingdom. "Indeed, Facebook tells them as much, promising that it requires apps to respect a Facebook consumer's privacy". In total, the effort allowed Cambridge Analytica to harvest insights on more than 87 million users around the world, including 71 million Americans, Facebook previously revealed. In that case, a software flaw affected almost 7 million users, leading to their photos being exposed to a much wider audience than they had intended.

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