Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is being sued by the US District of Columbia seeking to hold him personally responsible for the Cambridge Analytica scandal that breached the personal data of millions of people.
The political council was charged in 2018 with illegally collect the personal data of no less than 87 million facebook users.
The data was allegedly used to manipulate the 2016 US presidential election.
DC Attorney General Karl Racine filed a civil suit against Mr. Zuckerberg in DC Superior Court. He is claiming damages from Mr Zuckerberg.
The lawsuit argues that Mr. Zuckerberg was directly involved in important company decisions and was aware of the potential dangers of sharing user data, as happened in the case involving data mining firm Cambridge Analytica. .
Mr. Zuckerberg, who co-founded Facebook and led its board of directors since 2012, controls more than 50% of Facebook’s voting shares and “maintains an unprecedented level of control over Facebook’s operations while he is become the largest social media company in the world”. world,” the lawsuit states.
The social media giant has nearly three billion users worldwide.
Meta, FacebookThe parent company, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, has a market value of over $500bn (£397bn).
Meta Platforms spokesman Andy Stone declined to comment.
Big Tech targeted by lawsuits
It comes as Google, Amazon and Apple have been the targets of lawsuits in recent years by federal regulators and state attorneys general on both sides accusing the tech giants of market dominance and abuse.
But this is the first lawsuit specifically aimed at a Big Tech CEO.
Mr. Racine tried last year to add Mr. Zuckerberg as a defendant in his ongoing lawsuit against Facebook over Cambridge Analytica from 2018.
But a DC Superior Court judge thwarted that attempt in March, saying Racine waited too long to add it. “What value does it add to naming it? There is no more relief for consumers in the District,” Judge Maurice Ross said at the time.
Now, Mr. Racine claims that thousands of documents he has since had access to in the case establish Zuckerberg’s direct involvement in decision-making on Cambridge Analytica, and he is therefore directly suing Zuckerberg.
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A year ago, Mr Racine sued Amazon, accusing the online retail giant of anti-competitive practices in its treatment of sellers on its platform. The practices have driven up prices for consumers and stifled innovation and choice in the online retail market, he alleged. Amazon denied the allegations.
This lawsuit was dismissed by the court and Mr. Racine requested that it be reconsidered.