Meta Settles Second Privacy Lawsuit, This One cost $725M

Meta settlement payouts now in the billions.

It has been a lousy year for Meta (formerly Facebook). Thousands of layoffs and now over $5B in settlements. With the Metaverse looking more like an experiment than the future of social media, are there any upsides left for Mark Zuckerberg’s embattled company?

Not if Meta must continually pay out multi-million-dollar settlements regarding privacy issues. In February of this year, Meta agreed to pay $90M to plaintiffs who claimed that Facebook’s proprietary browser plug-in tracked user data even after accounts were logged off. According to the New York Post, this class-action lawsuit was started a decade ago.

In more recent news, Meta’s Cambridge Analytica problem is finally being solved, with the company settling that lawsuit with $725 million. This is yet another class action suit that involved the private data of 87 million Facebook users dating back to 2016-2018. According to CNBC, Cambridge Analytica was given unrestrictive access to data to “inform political campaigns.”

Of course, Meta deflected any blame and spat out the typical corporate speak, which means very little considering the number of times the company had to settle, “We pursued a settlement as it’s in the best interest of our community and shareholders. In addition, over the last three years we revamped our approach to privacy and implemented a comprehensive privacy program.

As far as Cambridge Analytica is concerned, the firm has been closed for over four years, but who knows how much damage was done. Unfortunately, the company was willing to dive head-first into some devious dealings to aid candidates’ campaigns. Stealing user data is one thing, but the London-based consulting firm was also looking to employ “sex workers, bribes, ex-spies and fake news” to get the job done.

Sadly, those at the top of CA have formed multiple other businesses looking to influence politics, albeit on a smaller scale. Check out this Wired article from 2018 for more on that.

[Source: CNBC] [Source: NY Post]

Mike Phalin

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