Facebook agrees to settle Cambridge Analytica lawsuit

Facebook has agreed to settle a four-year federal lawsuit seeking damages for letting third parties, including Cambridge Analytica, access private user data, according to court filings.

The settlement – the terms of which have not been disclosed by Meta Platforms, the social media giant’s parent company – brings closure to a long-running case alleging that Facebook violated consumer privacy laws by sharing millions of users’ data with third parties, including the now-defunct British firm connected with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

According to a filing on 26 August, a US District Court judge in California has put the class action case on hold for 60 days until attorneys finalise the terms in a written settlement, according to court documents.

The Independent has requested comment from Facebook.

The agreement was reached before a 20 September deadline for Meta CEO and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to submit pre-trial depositions in the case.

Now-former CEO Sheryl Sandberg, who announced she is leaving the company after 14 years earlier this year, also was likely to be deposed.

A group of Facebook users sued the company following 2018 reports that Cambridge Analytica – with ties to Steve Bannon – paid Facebook app developers for access to roughly 87 million users’ account data, which was used to target and psychologically profile voters during the 2016 election in which Trump was elected president.

Members of Congress grilled Mr Zuckerberg about the breach during marathon hearings, in which lawmakers pressed the platform about third-party data mining and the proliferation of dis- and misinformation and interference among political actors.

The lawsuit asserted Facebook is both a “data broker and surveillance firm” as well as a social network.

This is a developing story