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Monday, September 16, 2019

Facebook users allege social media site failed to keep data safe


By Jenie Mallari-Torres | Oct 4, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) – Three Facebook users have filed suit against the social media company in a California court over data allegedly transferred to Cambridge Analytica.

Scott McDonnell, Tabiella Holsinger and James Tronka filed a complaint individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated on Sept. 21 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Facebook Inc. alleging breach of contract and other counts.

"For a period in 2014, Facebook stood idly by while an app developer, Aleksandr Kogan, sucked down the data portfolios of 70 million of its American users. Because of this inaction, the developer, via his English company, Global Science Research LTD (GSR), was able to sell this treasure trove of data to yet another English company, SCL Elections, that then transferred it to its affiliate, Cambridge Analytica. The aim was to create so-called psychographs of the targeted Americans so that they could be used to influence voting in various U.S. elections," the suit states.

The plaintiffs allege they received a notice from Facebook that their personal information may have been shared with or misused by the GSR app thisisyourdigitallife, which had been downloaded by their Facebook friends. They allege they did not give consent to any third parties to access their content through their Facebook friends.

The plaintiffs hold Facebook Inc. responsible because the defendant allegedly failed to keep its users' data safe and secure from unauthorized and impermissible access.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek judgment against defendant for damages and equitable remedies, including statutory damages, punitive damages, restitution, penalties, and disgorgement; interest; costs; expenses; and attorneys’ fees; and further relief as may be appropriate. They are represented by Shana E. Scarlett of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP in Berkeley, California.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California case number 3:18-cv-05811

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