Meta to settle Cambridge Analytica scandal case for $725 million
Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc (MET
A.O) has agreed to pay $725 million to resolve a class-action lawsuit accusing the social media giant of allowing third parties, including Cambridge Analytica, to access users' personal information.
The proposed sum is the largest in a US data privacy class action, lawyers say.
Meta, which did not admit wrongdoing, said it had "revamped" its approach to privacy over the past three years.
In a court filing, lawyers for plaintiffs called it the largest data privacy class action lawsuit in US history, and said it was the most Meta had ever paid to resolve a private class action. "The amount of the recovery is particularly striking given that Facebook argued that its users consented to the practices at issue, and that the class suffered no actual damages," said the lawyers in the document, published by Reuters.
The lawyers for the plaintiffs noted that in the period since the scandal broke, Meta has changed a number of it policies to prevent anything similar from happening again. Most notable among these changes was restricting the ability for third parties to harvest data about people via their friends.
The case was brought by the lawyers on behalf of all affected US Facebook users, which is thought to be between 250 million and 280 million people. It's not yet clear how those affected will be able to claim their share of the settlement. The final amount must first be approved by a San Francisco judge, with a further hearing scheduled for March.