Social media giant, Facebook, and political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, are facing a class action lawsuit in California that alleges they obtained information belonging to 50 million of the social media company’s users without permission. According to a Reuters news report, the proposed class-action complaint filed by Lauren Price, a Maryland resident, is the first of what could be many lawsuits seeking damages over Facebook’s ability to protect user data, and Cambridge Analytica’s exploitation of that data to benefit the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
Increase in Political Messages During Elections
The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, just hours after Facebook was blamed in a shareholder lawsuit filed in San Francisco for a drop in its stock price after news of the data harvesting broke. In her complaint, Price accused Facebook and Cambridge Analytica of negligence and violating a California unfair competition law.
How to Protect Your Information
The issues raised by Cambridge Analytica’s data mining is an important one and it should make us all think about what we do on Facebook and how we can protect our private information better. Here are a few steps you can take:
- Stay away from third-party apps that give you quizzes or tests and then take your information.
- Check the apps on your phone to see which ones use your data on Facebook. Even after you delete them, the connection with Facebook might exist.
- Keep an eye on any type of suspicious activity like friend requests from people you don’t know. Also, watch out for messages with links. Check your security settings often.
- Change your password often and log out of Facebook after each use.
If you believe that your information has been compromised or used without your permission, you may be eligible to band together with other plaintiffs and join a class action lawsuit. Contact an experienced California class action lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.