Meta to pay $725M to settle Cambridge Analytica class action

Facebook owner Meta Platforms, Inc. Thursday agreed to pay $725 million to resolve a class action lawsuit accusing the social media giant of allowing third parties, including Cambridge Analytica, to access users’ personal information.

After four years of extensive litigation, Meta has proposed to settle a class-action which challenged Facebook’s overall data-sharing practices. The plaintiffs alleged that Facebook gave access to information and content from their accounts to multiple third parties without their consent. They also claimed that Facebook failed to properly monitor those parties’ actual use of that information.

The proposed settlement is the largest ever in a data privacy class action and the most Facebook has ever paid to resolve a private class action. The amount of the recovery is particularly striking, given that “Facebook argued that its users consented to the practices at issue, and that the class suffered no actual damages.”

In petitioning the court to approve the settlement, the parties highlighted that “Facebook has meaningfully changed the practices that gave rise to Plaintiffs’ Allegations.” Facebook ceased allowing third parties to access data about users through their friends, it meaningfully enhanced its ability to restrict and monitor how third parties acquire and use Facebook users’ information and it developed more robust tools to tell users what information Facebook collects and shares about them.

The settlement is still awaiting court approval.