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Meta Settles To Pay $700M Over Facebook Cambridge Analytica Scandal

—Meta agrees to pay $725 million settlement to end lawsuit over Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The social media company had paid over $5 billion to different federal agencies over the same case in the past.

Meta has finally found a way to put the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, that nearly drowned Facebook, to rest, at least legally. However, there is doubt that we will ever stop talking about it.

The company is reaching a settlement of $725 million as payment to everyone that is part of the class action lawsuit.

Here is a refresher:

Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm in the United Kingdom, harvested 87 million Facebook profiles and ran them through a survey app known as This Is Your Digital Life. The app is designed to build psychological profiles on users by asking specific questions. Then, clients can tailor political ads correctly.

The firm allegedly provided assistance to the presidential campaigns of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. It was also accused of tampering with the outcome of the Brexit referendum. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and is now defunct.

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Prior to this recent settlement, Facebook had paid a $5 billion fine to the FTC, $100 million to the SEC, and £500,000 to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook Cambridge Analytica hearing before Senate.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook Cambridge Analytica hearing before Senate in 2018. Image Source: MarketWatch.

Public commentators believe that Meta reached the settlement to avoid a replay of court cases, which could see its CEO and other top management staff, appear at hearings. The company is at a critical point in its history with its ad earnings at an all-time low and its huge bets on virtual reality not yielding profits yet.

While the settlement is a win for the plaintiffs and a record-breaking payout by Facebook, the company still gets to keep its mouth shut and go about its business.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.