Washington: Social media giant Facebook was sued by Washington DC’s top prosecutor for its alleged role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The lawsuit against the firm was filed by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine on Wednesday, stated a report by The Washington Post. Also Read - US Elections 2020: Mark Zuckerberg Warns of 'Civil Unrest' if Results Take Too Long, Says Nation Divided
As per the report, Facebook has allegedly allowed the wholesale scraping of personal data of millions of user accounts. “Facebook failed to protect the privacy of its users and deceived them about who had access to their data and how it was used,” stated Attorney General Karl Racine. The American lawyer added, “Facebook put users at risk of manipulation by allowing companies like Cambridge Analytica and other third-party applications to collect personal data without users’ permission.” Also Read - 'Who The Hell Are You?', US Lawmakers Scold Twitter, Facebook & Google CEOs During Senate Hearing
Denying the claims, Facebook on Thursday said in a tweet: “No third party was reading your private messages, or writing messages to your friends without your permission. Some stories have suggested we were shipping over private messages to partners, so we wanted to clarify a few things.” Also Read - Facebook Launches Free-to-play Cloud Gaming Feature For Android, Web Users | Details Here
In the UK, the British data regulator imposed the maximum fine of 500,000 pounds on Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. A Facebook spokesperson was quoted by the BBC as saying, “We’re reviewing the complaint and look forward to continuing our discussions with attorneys general in DC and elsewhere.” Apart from this lawsuit, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice are also conducting investigations on the company.
According to the Post, the action of the Washington DC attorney general is prone to amendments to include the more recent data security admissions as published by The New York Times report. The new investigation revealed that Facebook has granted Netflix and Spotify the ability to read and delete the private messages of the users. User data was made known to companies including Amazon, Microsoft and Sony which received access to the e-mail addresses of Facebook user’s friends.
(With Agency inputs)