Zuckerberg indicted over Facebook privacy scandal

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, has been charged with his role in the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. An “extensive investigation” has revealed that the CEO contributed to lax control over user data and the drafting of misleading privacy agreements. Parties such as Cambridge Analytica thus had access to the personal information of more than 87 million users.

Prosecutor Karl Racine said so in a press statement on Monday, Bloomberg news agency reported .

Here’s what you need to know about Cambridge Analytica’s privacy scandal

Racine wants to hold Zuckerberg liable for his part in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Via Facebook, the British company collected personal data from more than 87 million users, without asking permission. In the 2016 presidential election, candidate Donald Trump called on the company’s services to target his election ads and messages to American Facebook users.

Racine called the incident “the biggest consumer privacy scandal in the country’s history”. Facebook has been reprimanded for this by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In July 2019, the American regulator imposed a $5 billion fine on the platform for this privacy violation. She blamed Facebook for failing to protect users’ privacy and personal information.

Zuckerberg was then exonerated by the FTC. He had to personally ensure that he would better protect the privacy of his users in the future. He was instructed to prepare a quarterly report on what he had done to achieve this.

Racine: ‘Zuckerberg personally involved in privacy scandal’

The stocking is not over yet. According to prosecutor Racine, Zuckerberg did indeed play a role in the privacy scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica. His actions made monitoring user data “lax”. The CEO and founder of Facebook also drafted “misleading privacy agreements.” Cambridge Analytica and other parties were thus able to obtain the personal data of Facebook users. That is the outcome of “extensive research”.

“We are persevering and have followed the evidence as far as Mr Zuckerberg,” Racine said in a statement Monday. “The evidence shows that Mr Zuckerberg was personally involved in Facebook’s failure to protect the privacy and data of its users, which led directly to the Cambridge Analytica incident.”

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, declined to comment on the prosecutor’s allegations. Earlier, the company described Racine’s attempt to expose the privacy scandal as “little more than an attack on Facebook’s business model”.

Public prosecutor acts ‘almost in bad faith’

It’s not the first time Racine has tried to crack down on Facebook CEO Zuckerberg. In 2018, he filed a lawsuit against Zuckerberg for his part in the privacy scandal with Cambridge Analytica. The judge accused the prosecutor of acting “almost in bad faith”.

“You want to change this from a Facebook case to a Mr Zuckerberg case,” the judge said at a March hearing. “What value does it add to call him by name? There is no more relief for the consumers of the district.”

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