D.C. sues Zuckerberg over Cambridge Analytica breach
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is targeted in a lawsuit filed by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine (D) Monday over allegations that he directly participated in decision-making that led to the Cambridge Analytica data breach.
The lawsuit comes amid Racine’s ongoing case against Facebook, now under the parent company name Meta, filed in 2018 over the breach.
The new lawsuit characterizes Zuckerberg as more than “a figurehead at Facebook” who “is personally involved in nearly every major decision the company makes.” The suit alleges that in that role Zuckerberg was directly involved in decisions that led to third-party Cambridge Analytica to get personal data of users in the lead up to the 2016 election.
Racine attempted to add Zuckerberg to the initial suit filed against the company, but in March a judge rejected the request, arguing Racine had waited too long.
Racine’s office said the decision to file the new lawsuit against Zuckerberg is based on a review of hundreds of thousands of documents produced during the ongoing case against Facebook, as well as depositions with Facebook’s directors, former employees and whistleblowers, according to the attorney general’s announcement.
“The evidence shows Mr. Zuckerberg was personally involved in Facebook’s failure to protect the privacy and data of its users leading directly to the Cambridge Analytica incident,” Racine said in a statement.
“This unprecedented security breach exposed tens of millions of Americans’ personal information, and Mr. Zuckerberg’s policies enabled a multi-year effort to mislead users about the extent of Facebook’s wrongful conduct,” he added.
A Meta spokesperson declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Facebook has been facing scrutiny over the Cambridge Analytica breach for years. The company was ordered to pay $5 billion in fines by the Federal Trade Commission over privacy violations based on the breach.
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