A Superior Court judge in Washington has dismissed a privacy lawsuit filed by the District of Columbia against Facebook parent Meta.
The suit accused the company of misleading consumers by improperly sharing their data with third parties, including Cambridge Analytica.
The judge’s decision marks a rare victory for Meta amidst its numerous legal battles in privacy, antitrust, and consumer protection disputes.
Judge Maurice A. Ross said Facebook’s policies had disclosed how third parties get data “such that a reasonable consumer could not have been misled.”
The lawsuit was filed by the district’s attorney general in 2018 after revelations that Cambridge Analytica obtained data from millions of Facebook users without their consent, including those in Washington, D.C.
However, Judge Ross determined that Facebook had adequately informed users about data sharing and had taken appropriate measures to address the Cambridge Analytica incident.
While the dismissal of the suit is significant for Meta, which continues to face global legal challenges, it stands out due to its connection to the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.
The incident shed light on the vulnerabilities of Facebook’s user data and led to criticism from lawmakers and regulators worldwide.
The Federal Trade Commission previously fined Facebook $5 billion for privacy abuses related to the scandal.
Meta has also reached a $750 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit over data sharing.
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However, its legal battles related to Cambridge Analytica are ongoing, with a recent rejection of its bid to dismiss a shareholder lawsuit by a Delaware judge.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal exposed how user data from Facebook could be leaked and used for targeted political profiling.
The dismissal of the District of Columbia lawsuit adds to the complex narrative surrounding Meta’s handling of disinformation, privacy concerns, and competition issues.