Bulletins

DC goes after Zuckerberg for Cambridge Analytica again

After failing to add Zuckerberg to a lawsuit against Facebook, Karl Racine is suing the CEO directly for business decisions that allegedly set the stage for the scandal.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears on a screen behind a lawmaker's empty chair as he testifies remotely during Senate hearing.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal helped kick off the techlash.

Photo: Bill Clark/Getty Images

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine is suing Mark Zuckerberg, alleging the Meta CEO was responsible for decisions that opened the door for the Cambridge Analytica scandal.


Racine filed the suit on Monday, according to a news release, alleging, "Zuckerberg contributed to Facebook’s lax oversight of user data and implementation of misleading privacy agreements." The complaint cited in particular Zuckerberg's work to give third-party developers access to Facebook user data despite the company's prior privacy pledges.

That move enabled a seemingly innocuous personality quiz to vacuum up extensive user data, which it ultimately transferred to Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy used by Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. The ensuing scandal resulted in a $5 billion fine for Facebook in 2019 and helped kick off the techlash, but some critics suggested it did little to bring accountability to Zuckerberg for the actions of a company he controls.

Racine is separately suing Facebook over the incident, and the latest complaint comes after a judge earlier this year rejected his office's attempt to add Zuckerberg to that suit. He said Monday's filing was based in "hundreds of thousands of pages of documents produced during" the litigation against the company.

Racine has repeatedly gone after powerful tech companies: He is currently trying to resurrect an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, suing Google over location tracking and engaging gig companies including Grubhub in a suit over "deceptive" practices.

Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone declined to comment on Monday.

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