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Facebook, Cambridge Analytica hit with class-action lawsuit

Facebook, Cambridge Analytica hit with class-action lawsuit
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Facebook and Cambridge Analytica were hit with a class-action lawsuit on Tuesday, just hours before Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergDemocrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff Democrats press Facebook, Twitter on misinformation efforts ahead of Georgia runoff Hillicon Valley: Facebook content moderators demand more workplace protections | Ousted cyber official blasts Giuliani press conference | Tech firms fall short on misinformation targeting Latino vote MORE is slated to testify to Congress about how the political consulting firm managed to improperly obtain data on 87 million Facebook users.

The lawsuit was filed by seven people who were swept up in the trove of data that wound up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, a company that did work for the President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE's campaign ahead of the 2016 election.

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“Facebook has made billions of dollars selling advertisements targeted to its customers, and in this instance made millions selling advertisements to political campaigns that developed those very ads on the back of their customers’ own stolen personal information,” Richard Fields, one of the attorneys for the defendants, said in a statement. “That’s unacceptable, and they must be held accountable.”

“We are committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect people’s information," Paul Grewal, Facebook's deputy general counsel, said in a statement. "We will take whatever steps are required to see that this happens.”

Cambridge Analytica did not immediately respond when asked to comment on the lawsuit.

The class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of all American and British users among the 87 million who were unwittingly swept up in the data leak.

The lawsuit alleges that Facebook knowingly built its platform to allow third parties such as Aleksandr Kogan, the academic who obtained the data through an app on the site, to “steal users’ personal information.”

The filing also argues that Facebook failed to protect its users’ information and didn’t disclose the leak until it came out in media reports.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware.

Updated at 11:44 a.m.