Facebook was sued by the District of Columbia over a privacy breach that exposed millions of users’ information to Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm that worked for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
On Wednesday, the suit was filed by the district’s attorney general, Karl Racine, alleging Facebook of inadequate oversight of the company’s third-party applications and therefore of failure to comply with the Consumer Protection and Procedures Act. The lawsuit would charge Facebook with restitution and damages (amounts of which are unspecified). The maximum penalty under the Act is $5,000 per violation.
Racine’s suit mentions that some Facebook users downloaded a “personality quiz” app, which also collected data from the app users’ Facebook friends without their knowledge/consent. The app’s developer sold the personal data to Cambridge Analytica, which then leveraged the information to help presidential campaigns target voters for the 2016 presidential election. The suit alleges that Facebook took more than two years to disclose this to its users.
In August, Facebook said it had suspended 400 of apps on its platform since the Cambridge Analytica scandal surfaced earlier this year.