Facebook has been accused of propagating “fake news” and allowing Russian trolls to purchase ad-campaigns designed to sway the 2016 election. While the social media giant has been working hard to correct the issue, more information about the true scope of the scandal has become public. Now, one Facebook user in Maryland, Lauren Price, has decided to pursue a lawsuit against the company on behalf of all the platform’s users.
Price’s complaint alleges that Facebook and Cambridge Analytica improperly gathered personal data about her and others without their express consent. Months of investigation has revealed that Cambridge Analytica had collected data on around 50 million users through a disingenuous personality survey. Users believed they were participating in a harmless survey, but they were really agreeing to allowing their data to be harvested. Facebook was aware of the data being collected, but Cambridge Analytica ensured the company they were gathering and using the data for academic purposes. In addition, Price’s complaint argues that Facebook has violated the privacy of millions of people and made people more vulnerable to identity theft.
Another investor, Fan Yuan, is also pursing a lawsuit against the company on behalf of investors. His suit claims that Facebook failed to disclose details about the data breech and made “misleading statements” about the true scope of the problem.
These numerous lawsuits have sent Facebook’s stocks plunging. The company has lost almost $50 billion this week alone. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of the platform, has acknowledged and apologized about the breach of trust between Kogan, Cambridge Analytica, Facebook and social media users.