Facebook agrees to settle data privacy lawsuit involving Cambridge Analytica

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In a turn of events that may be a relief to Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, the top Meta executives will not have to depose in a lawsuit about the Cambridge Analytica scandal. According to The Verge, the parent company of social media giant Facebook has reached an out-of-court settlement with the plaintiffs, sparing the executives from having to testify.

As per a document filed on August 26 in San Francisco court, Facebook (now Meta) states that it is submitting a draft ‘agreement in principle’ and has requested a stay of proceedings for 60 days to finalise it. In the absence of a settlement, the two executive would had to testify before September 20 

There are no details on the settlement amount or terms of the agreement. The complete document is available here.

Lawsuit’s background

In 2018, a lawsuit was filed against Facebook by users who accused the social network of violating their privacy. The users claimed that Facebook had shared their data with third-party organisations, including Cambridge Analytica. 

Cambridge Analytica was a firm linked to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The firm collected and exploited 87M Facebook users’ data without their consent to sway the election’s outcome.

Since the scandal broke out, Facebook removed access to data from thousands of apps suspected of abusive behaviour, limited the amount of information available to developers, and made it easier for users to control how much personal data they share.

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Sheryl Sandberg resigned as COO

Earlier this year, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook parent Meta, resigned from her post. Sandberg is responsible for building the advertising business that contributes a large chunk of the social media giant’s revenue. 

However, Sandberg will remain a Meta employee till September 30, after which she will continue as a board member. The social network appointed its Chief Growth Officer (CGO) Javier Olivan as the new COO.

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The editorial team of Silicon Canals brings you technology news from the European startup ecosystem. 

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