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Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook, has reached a settlement in a $725 million class action lawsuit, making it the single largest data privacy class action in U.S. history. The lawsuit alleged that Facebook shared user data with third parties without obtaining permission from its users and failed to monitor the use of user data by these third parties. This historic settlement highlights the importance of data privacy and the need for companies to prioritize the protection of user information.
The settlement aims to resolve investigations and lawsuits stemming from the 2016 election scandal involving Facebook's sharing of over 87 million users' data with a third-party company called Cambridge Analytica. This company, connected to Donald Trump's 2016 Presidential campaign, reportedly used user data without permission to harvest and profile voters, ultimately targeting and influencing the election in Trump's favor. Cambridge Analytica has since shut down following the scandal.
Despite agreeing to the $725 million settlement, Meta Platforms, Inc. has not accepted any liability for its actions or admitted to any wrongdoing. The Court has not made any judgment or decision regarding the righteousness of Facebook's actions concerning user data and its sharing of private user data with numerous third parties. Facebook stated that the settlement is in the best interest of Meta's community and its shareholders, with a nearly $600 billion valuation stock price as of April 2023.