Supreme Court to review Meta's Cambridge Analytica data scandal

Investors claim Facebook misled them about the misuse of user data, leading to significant financial losses.

Supreme Court to review Meta's Cambridge Analytica data scandal
AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File
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The Supreme Court has agreed to examine a major shareholder lawsuit alleging Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc. deceived investors regarding the Cambridge Analytica data-harvesting scandal. The case, which could impact corporate disclosure standards, revolves around the now-defunct U.K.-based political consulting firm's misuse of Facebook user data, affecting up to 87 million users.

In December 2022, Meta settled a class-action lawsuit for $725 million, admitting it allowed third parties, including Cambridge Analytica, to access users' personal information without their consent. The scandal, which came to light in 2018, led to government investigations and congressional testimony by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the Epoch Times reports.

The Supreme Court granted the petition for review in Facebook Inc. v. Amalgamated Bank, with no dissenting justices. The court will determine whether the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals erred in allowing the multibillion-dollar lawsuit to proceed, which alleges Facebook inflated share prices by inadequately disclosing the potential misuse of user data. Investors claim the controversy contributed to significant market capitalization losses in 2018.

Facebook is seeking dismissal of the lawsuit, arguing that the Ninth Circuit's decision adopted "extreme outlier positions" that would encourage class-action lawsuits in other circuits. Amalgamated Bank, the respondent, maintains that the circuit court's decision was correct and aligns with the rules applied by other circuits.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case in its new term beginning in October.

Simultaneously, the court is deliberating two cases concerning social media platforms and content moderation, with rulings expected by the end of June. The outcomes of these cases could have significant implications for online free speech and the editorial rights of social media companies.

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  • By David Menzies

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