The D.C. attorney general today filed a lawsuit against Facebook for failing to protect user data and allowing political data firm Cambridge Analytica to access personal information, marking the first move by U.S. enforcers to punish the social media giant over the flap.
The lawsuit, filed in D.C. Superior Court, also accuses Facebook of violating D.C.’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act by misleading users on data security, failing to properly monitor third-party apps and failing to disclose the Cambridge Analytica breach, among other issues.
D.C. also aims to make new revelations, made public in a New York Times report last night, that Facebook shared user data with a multitude of other technology companies sometimes without users’ knowledge, part of the lawsuit, Attorney General Karl Racine said on a press call today.
Racine has spoken with his counterparts in a number of states who are interested in probing the same Facebook data concerns, he added, though he couldn’t say whether the legal battle would become a multi-state effort.
“Facebook failed to protect the privacy of its users and deceived them about who had access to their data and how it was used,” Racine said in a statement.
Facebook is already facing federal scrutiny, including an FTC investigation, after reports emerged that Cambridge Analytica, which did work for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, improperly obtained information on as many as 87 million Facebook users.
Facebook said it had known about the issue since 2015, but failed to verify that Cambridge Analytica had deleted the data once the violation was discovered.
The action by the Democratic attorney general could represent more political pressure on the Trump administration, given the firm’s work on behalf of the campaign.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine
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