Facebook, Cambridge Analytica Hit with Class Action Lawsuit Before Zuckerberg Testimony on Capitol Hill

In this Aug. 6, 2015, file photo Facebook Elections signs stand in the media area in Cleveland before the first Republican presidential debate. The head of Trump-affiliated data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica was suspended on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, while government authorities are bearing down on both the firm and Facebook …
AP/John Minchillo

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica on Tuesday, just hours before Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before the Senate to testify on the company’s mishandling of user data.

Seven people whose data had been taken by Cambridge Analytica—a political consulting data analytics firm that did work for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign before the election—filed the suit on behalf of any American and British Facebook users who were among the 87 million users affected by the data breach.

“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.”

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Delaware, alleged that Facebook deliberately made its platform so that third parties could steal personal information from users and argued that the social media company did not protect that information.

Facebook had also been sued four times in Northern California just a few weeks earlier, with some claiming the company had “absolute disregard” for users’ personal data.

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