It’s been four years since users claiming damage caused by the Cambridge Analytica scandal sued Facebook (now Meta) for selling tons of easily identifiable personal information to third parties. In 2018, plaintiffs and consolidated complaint He said Facebook has been “surprisingly reckless” and doing “almost nothing” to protect users from the potential harms of this “deliberately” disguised huge market of data. The company said it puts 87 million users at “significant and imminent risk of identity theft, fraud, stalking, scams, spam, emails, and even hacking.” And users’ only option to avoid these risks was to make everything on Facebook private so even their friends couldn’t see their activity.
Because of Facebook’s allegedly deceptive practices, the plaintiffs said that “Facebook users have sustained tangible injuries in ways that exceed the harms of a normal data breach.” Plaintiffs went so far in court to defend these claims that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg would take the podium For six hours this September, with planned lengthy statements for former Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and current Head of Meta Growth Javier Olivan. However, none of these statements seem to be happening now.
On Friday, a joint action presented With the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. It confirmed that plaintiffs and Facebook have reached a settlement agreement that appears to have finally ended the class action lawsuit that Meta previously said it hoped would be finished by March 2023.
It is not yet clear how much the deal will cost Facebook. FTC pays billions of dollars in fines– but there may be more information about Facebook sanctions in the next few days. Although the joint motion requested 60 days to draft a written settlement agreement, US district judge Vince Chhabria only partially accepted the motion. Chhabria said he expects all parties to come to the hearing on Friday, September 2, to discuss the sanctions.
Meta and Facebook’s legal team said they did not comment on Ars. The plaintiffs’ legal team did not immediately respond.
What did Facebook users want the court to decide?
The plaintiffs initially sought the court to seek a Facebook audit and disclosure, a change to Facebook’s default settings, “an unprecedented level of compensation for privacy intrusions”, and damages “for users who don’t understand why they were taken.” them and how Facebook profits.” Additional relief was also requested.
Part of their complaint was that privacy settings that gave users control over their data were embedded in the app, and privacy settings that didn’t give the same control over their data were made accessible. This was deceptive, the plaintiffs claim, for users who claimed they were not notified when Facebook learned of the illegal Cambridge Analytica data acquisition.
Since 2018, Meta changed some of Facebook’s policies, but the plaintiffs claimed it “only did so after regulatory and government anger.” In addition to fines, FTC implemented “Significant requirements to increase accountability and transparency” in 2019.
Currently, Congress is mandating Digital Accountability and Transparency (aka. DATA Privacy Act), provides federal protection for users of popular web services. If passed, the law would force tech companies to provide “accessible notices to consumers about the business’s privacy practices.”
Until technology becomes better regulated, users are forced to rely on companies to update their policies as privacy and security risks become known. he is a earnings call Earlier this year, Meta signaled that it was motivated to continue updating its policies. The leadership said the company will invest in more privacy-safe ways for advertisers to target marketing to users. This includes beta testing with major advertisers and a new “privacy-enhancing” technology called Private Lift. This “measurement solution” allows advertisers to effectively target users while adding “extra layers of privacy to limit information that can be learned” by both advertisers and Meta.
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