TAMPA, Fla. - The first civil lawsuit stemming from a Facebook data breach was filed by Morgan & Morgan on Wednesday, the Orlando-based law firm announced.
“The recent disclosure of the violation of the privacy rights of 50 million consumers who use and trusted Facebook represents yet another troubling example of a company’s failure to maintain the security of information consumers provided – despite its representations to consumers that they have a choice to allow who can access their information through privacy settings," said John Yanchunis, an attorney for the firm, in a statement.
Allegations surfaced that British data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica never deleted improperly obtained Facebook user data it received from a Russian-American researcher in 2015. The firm told Facebook it deleted the data, but recent news reports contradicted that claim.
Facebook disclosed late Friday that it knew Cambridge Analytica had taken users' information without their consent by obtaining it from the psychology researcher who legitimately gleaned details on users' likes and habits via a personality quiz app in 2013.
“Even more alarming is the fact that Facebook executives knew several years ago that these violations occurred and chose to keep silent about it," Morgan & Morgan said. “Cambridge Analytica, for its part, essentially waged psychological warfare against millions of unsuspecting victims, without their knowledge or consent. The filing of this lawsuit is a necessary step to secure and protect consumers’ private information, and to seek compensation for the companies’ bad acts.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took responsibility for what he called "a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it."
Morgan & Morgan filed their lawsuit in the Northern District of California.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 10 News app now.