Facebook user files class action against Facebook

Posted on: March 28th, 2018 by Steve Larson

Facebook has been sued in a California federal court by a Facebook user. The plaintiff seeks to get the case certified as a class action.

The case arises out of media accounts which report that researcher Aleksandr Kogan, who was hired by Cambridge Analytica, designed a quiz that was used to harvest data from Facebook. He then turned the pool of harvested data over to the research firm, which then used it to create psychological profiles of potential Trump voters who were then targeted with ads. Facebook has said that Kogan and Cambridge “deceived” the company and violated its terms of service by handing the data over to political operatives.

The complaint alleges a violation of California’s Unfair Competition laws.

The plaintiff is suing on behalf of all U.S. Facebook users whose data was harvested by Cambridge Analytica without authorization or “in excess of authorization.” The proposed class seeks restitution, statutory damages and injunctive relief for breaches of California’s Unfair Competition Law and for Facebook’s alleged negligence.

Price’s suit was filed late on March 20, 2018, just hours after Facebook shareholders sued Facebook for securities law violations.  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg broke his silence on the scandal on March 21, 2018, and admitted mistakes.

The case is Price v. Facebook, case number 18-cv-01732, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.