Washington DC sues Facebook for scandal of Cambridge Analytica

Attorney General of the District of Columbia (another name: Washington DC) has officially sued Facebook, accusing the company of violating its special consumer protection laws.

Specifically, in a statement sent to the media on Wednesday, AG Karl A. Racine - Attorney General of the District of Columbia - said the social networking giant did not adequately protect the data. users, "abetting abuses such as providing data of nearly half of the District's residents to manipulate service for political purposes during the 2016 election".

The lawsuit is said to be the first major lawsuit initiated from the Cambridge Analytica scandal that erupted earlier this year.

"Facebook has allowed Cambridge Analytica to purchase personal information that the company has illegally collected from 70 million individuals, including 340,000 residents of the District of Columbia" - Racine said - "That's roughly half the amount number of residents living in special zones ".

Ben Wiseman, director of the Consumer Protection Department at AG's DC headquarters, said the lawsuit requires Facebook to compensate for all damages caused, including "civil penalties of up to $ 5,000." on each violation ".

340,000 people multiplied by $ 5,000 per person will give us a figure of $ 1.7 billion - but the goal of the lawsuit is probably much lower than this number.

Racine added that other states are now expressing their desire to participate in the lawsuit.

"We think lawsuits are necessary to bring problems (Facebook causes) to light," he said.

In the lawsuit, Racine pointed out that only 852 Facebook users in DC used Aleksandr Kogan's "thisisyourdigitalife" personality quiz, but, because of Facebook's too easy data sharing process at the time, hundreds of thousands. others have been affected.

"Moreover, after discovering the sale of Kogan's unauthorized user data for Cambridge Analytica, Facebook did not take reasonable steps to protect its consumer privacy, including ensuring Data protection has been checked and deleted "- the claim stated.

"After that, Facebook did not inform the public (including residents of DC) in time that the data of tens of millions of consumers were sold to Cambridge Analytica, even if Facebook knew, or should have. know, that data has been collected contrary to its policies and is being used for political advertising purposes ".

Monique Hall, a Facebook spokesperson, refused to respond to questions about the lawsuit, but made an official announcement from the company as follows:

"We are reviewing the lawsuit and looking forward to continuing discussions with the Attorney General in DC and many other places."