The Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Washington D.C., filed a lawsuit against Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday, over the privacy scandal of Facebook user data involving Cambridge Analytica.
In the middle of the last decade, the British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica used an application to collect millions of Facebook users’ data without their consent and for political purposes.
When announcing the complaint on Monday, the attorney general for the District of Columbia, Karl Racine, said his inquiries point to Zuckerberg’s “direct involvement” in the privacy lapses that allowed Cambridge Analytica to carry out its activities.
The attorney general claimed to have a lot of evidence against Zuckerberg and justified the lawsuit focused on Meta’s most prominent figure because, in his opinion, the consequences of breaking the law should fall not only on companies, but also on their executives.
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The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
This is the second time that Racine tries to directly implicate Meta’s CEO in his legal battles against the company. In 2018 he already sued the firm and tried to personalize the accusation on Zuckerberg, something that the judge dismissed.
Following the uproar caused by the Cambridge Analytica revelation in March 2018, the social network opened an internal investigation into how user data is used by the applications with which it usually worked or with which it had agreements, and ended up suspending several of them.
The Cambridge Analytica is just one of the multiple scandals in which Meta (until last year known as Facebook) has been involved in recent years, the most recent being the leak of internal documents to the press by a former employee last year.
These documents reveal that the Menlo Park, California-based company conceals that its platforms are harmful to minors, especially teenage girls, among other things.