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DC sues Facebook about Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal

connectVideoMark Zuckerberg senate testimony of Cambridge Analytica

A look at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg the first day of the witnesses in front of the US Senate about the Cambridge Analytica scandal where the information of approximately 87 million Facebook users’ information was harvested. 

Facebook was sued by the District of Columbia, on Wednesday, to allow data-mining company, Cambridge Analytica to prevent unauthorized access to data of 87 million users.

The lawsuit was filed by D. C. Attorney General Karl Racine claims that Facebook users are misled about the security of their data and failing to properly monitor third-party apps.

In 2013, a researcher started with a Facebook app that claimed to generate a personality profile. It turns out that the app also hoovered up personal information from the users Facebook friends, and that information was eventually sold to Cambridge Analytica, a consulting company that has worked for several Republican candidates.

The fall-out from Cambridge Analytica, which is still ongoing, led to congressional hearings in the United States and studies in the United Kingdom. Facebook did also change what type of data it makes it possible for external developers to access, although critics have charged that it is not fast enough.

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“Facebook failed to protect the privacy of its users and deceived them about who has access to their data and how it was used,” Rancine said in a statement. “Facebook users from the risk of manipulation by companies like Cambridge Analytica and other applications from third parties for the collection of personal data without the users permission. Today, the lawsuit over the creation of Facebook to its promise to protect the privacy of users.”

The lawsuit claims that Facebook told users that it is the protection of their personal information, but allowed the app developer for collecting and selling the data of users who haven’t downloaded or used the app. Also alleges that Facebook was aware, in 2014, is that the developer wanted to download the information about the users’ friends, but “can not check or monitor of the app.”

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

Facebook has reportedly already produced “stacks of documents” in response to the attorney-general for research, the officials said. A copy of the full complaint against Facebook can be viewed here.

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After the indictment was filed Wednesday, Facebook said in a statement: “We are reviewing the complaint and look forward to continuing our discussions with the attorneys general in DC and elsewhere.”

The DC attorney general is looking for a ban to make sure Facebook puts in place protocols and safeguards for the control data of users and to make it easier for users to check their privacy settings. In addition to the restitution for consumers, penalties and costs.

It was revealed this week that Facebook’s privacy settings had broken down yet again. In that case, a software error affected almost 7 million users to their photos being exposed to a much wider audience than they had intended. In addition, a New York Times claims that Facebook allowed other companies to gain access to users’ private messages and personal data.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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