Attorney General Office Sues Facebook For Failing To Protect Users' Data

( - The Office of the Attorney General sued Facebook, Inc. alleging its privacy settings allowed, among other things, a third-party application to use the platform to harvest the personal information of millions of users without their permission and then sell it to a political consulting firm. According to OAG, Facebook took more than two years to disclose this to its consumers. The Office of the Attorney General is seeking monetary and injunctive relief, including relief for harmed consumers, damages, and penalties to the District.

In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, some Facebook users downloaded a "personality quiz" app which also collected data from the app users' Facebook friends without their knowledge or consent. The app's developer then sold this data to Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm. Also, the OAG alleged that, in 2013, Facebook allowed Aleksandr Kogan, a researcher affiliated with England'sCambridge University, and his company, Global Science Research, to launch an app on the Facebook platform called "thisisyourdigitallife", which sold the information to Cambridge Analytica.

"Facebook failed to protect the privacy of its users and deceived them about who had access to their data and how it was used. 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," said AG Racine.

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