Lawyers from the US and the UK have brought a class action lawsuit against Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and two other companies for the alleged misuse of the personal data of over 70 million people.
Following the revelation that Cambridge Analytica, a consultancy group based in London, obtained private information from tens of millions of individual Facebook users through an app made by third-party developer Aleksandr Kogan, Zuckerberg is set to testify at Congress this week to answer to two seperate committees.
In the meantime, though, the lawsuit claims that the collected data was used to develop “political propaganda campaigns” in both the UK and the US, namely the British “Brexit” referendum and the 2016 US election.
Facebook has previously argued that it was misled by Kogan, but the lawsuit claims that it failed to protect the data of its users to a reasonable degree.
Cambridge Analytica has denied that it used any of the Facebook data in either the Trump campaign or the Brexit referendum campaign—and further, it claims that any data it did receive on Facebook users was gained legally via a Facebook tool.
London-based law firm McCue and Partners is leading the British arm of the claim, and Jason McCue has this to say on the case:
The defendants effectively abused the human right to privacy of ordinary Facebook users and, if that were not enough, then the fruits of that abuse are alleged to have undermined the democratic process. This case will go some way to ensure that neither of these things can happen in the future.
If this case goes against Facebook, it could face damages of $70 billion or more.