20.10.2021 20:53:35 - dpa-AFX: DC AG Adds Mark Zuckerberg's Name In The Cambridge Analytica Scandal

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Almost three years after filing lawsuit against
social media giant Facebook, Inc (FB), the District of Columbia Attorney General
Karl Racine has listed CEO Mark Zuckerberg's name as a defendant of the lawsuit
for the first time.

In a Tweet on Wednesday, Racine said, 'BREAKING: I just added Mark Zuckerberg as
a defendant in my lawsuit against Facebook. Our continuing investigation
revealed that he was personally involved in decisions related to Cambridge
Analytica and Facebook's failure to protect user data.'

This move means that if found guilty, the company would have to pay civil
penalties, restitution, and attorney fees to the victims of the lawsuit.

Racine's tweet added, 'My office filed our lawsuit in 2018, and since then,
we've reviewed hundreds of thousands of pages of documents produced in
litigation and completed a wide range of depositions including former employees
and whistleblowers.'

The lawsuit was originally filed after the AG's office found that Facebook has
shared data of more than 50 million individuals with a political consulting firm
named Cambridge Analytica. The headcount later confirmed by the company was
around 87 million. The data shared was directly in relation to the 2016
presidential election won by Donald Trump.

Facebook wanted to dismiss the lawsuit, but its appeal was rescinded by the
court. Racine's office said that it believes that Zuckerberg was directly
involved with the scandal.

'Our continuing investigation revealed that he was personally involved in
decisions related to Cambridge Analytica and Facebook's failure to protect user
data,'reads the official statement.

However, Andy Stone, the spokesperson of FB has dismissed the allegation. 'These
allegations are as meritless today as they were more than three years ago when
the District filed its complaint. We will continue to defend ourselves
vigorously and focus on the facts,' said Stone in a statement.

According to several reports, Cambridge Analytica, a Trump supporter-funded
project, used Facebook's third-party access to collect political data and then
target campaign ads according to those data. In addition to these claims, Steve
Bannon, Trump's White House Advisor, was also associated with the firm.

Last month, Facebook allegedly paid more than $5 billion to the Federal Trade
Commission to keep the organization from coming after the CEO according to two
lawsuits filed by shareholders.

The lawsuit, filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery, was made public courtesy
of the CEO of Digital Content Next, Jason Kint, who called it the 'mother of all
lawsuits.' The complaint was filed by the shareholders of the company who
brought charges against COO Sheryl Sandberg and board members Marc Andreessen
and Peter Thiel for breaching fiduciary duty.

'Zuckerberg, Sandberg, and other Facebook directors agreed to authorize a
multi-billion settlement with the FTC as an express quid pro quo to protect
Zuckerberg from being named in the FTC's complaint, made subject to personal
liability, or even required to sit for a deposition,' said one of the lawsuits
filed by Rhode Island's pension fund.

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