Meta hasn’t seen many wins in court over the past few years, however, yesterday Judge Maurice A. Ross threw out a privacy lawsuit that alleged Facebook shared private user data with third parties using dubious methods. The lawsuit was filed back in 2018 by the District of Colombia’s former Attorney General Karl Racine, who claimed “tens of millions of Facebook users” had their personal data sold to Cambridge Analytica without consent.
However, sources report that Judge Ross’ decision was that Facebook explicitly disclosed this information in the company’s very lengthy terms and conditions “such that a reasonable consumer could not have been misled.” He deemed that Facebook is in the clear over privacy violations, citing Facebook had informed members how to limit or revoke consent for data sharing.
According to Judge Ross, “While the district may disagree with Facebook’s approach to the situation, there is no legal basis that required Facebook to act differently. Facebook did not materially mislead consumers as to their response to Cambridge Analytica.”
The Attorney General’s office did not accept this ruling and is not yet willing to give up pursuing the lawsuit. Many Facebook users are with the District on this issue.
“We respectfully disagree with the court’s decision and are considering all our options,” said a representative for the district.
Last year, Cambridge Analytica was involved in another Facebook class action lawsuit, settling for $750 million. Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission fined the company $5 billion in 2019 over other privacy violations and abuses.
In April of this year, Facebook users who had an account from May 2007 to December of 2022 could apply for part of a $725 million privacy lawsuit settlement. Again, Cambridge Analytica was involved, and found to have bought the personal data of approximately 87 million users in an effort to target specific members during the 2016 presidential election.