Washington DC sues Facebook for 'misleading and deceptive' privacy policies

10 2018 one hundred cardboard cutouts of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stand outside the US Capitol in Washington DC

The tech community expressed skepticism of this audit upon its publication, specifically because Facebook new that data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica had accessed personal data from millions of users.

But Mr Racine said his office was also targeting "the same kind of deceptive privacy practices" reported by the New York Times, including its partnerships with hardware firms such as Blackberry and privacy settings which were "ambiguous, confusing and hard to understand".

The suit filed in Superior Court in Washington seeks an injunction "to ensure Facebook puts in place protocols and safeguards to monitor users' data and to make it easier for users to control their privacy settings", and demands "restitution" for consumers.

The social media giant is now facing a lawsuit filed by Washington DC Attorney General, Karl Racine.

Earlier this year, Facebook announced that an audit by PriceWaterhouseCoopers revealed that Facebook does not provide user data to third-party applications.

Reports commissioned by the US Senate and unveiled Monday said that propaganda campaigns conducted by Russian Federation across a gamut of social networks before the US presidential election in 2016 included tactics aimed at discouraging black people from voting.

Cambridge Analytica in 2014 used data collected by a quiz app, which gathered information on those who used it as well as their friends, which numbered in the hundreds for many users.

For years, it appears Facebook gave some of the world's largest technology companies more intrusive access to users' personal data than it has disclosed.

It accused Facebook of allowing the wholesale scraping of personal data on tens of millions of users.

Facebook's head of developer platforms and programs, Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, said in a blog post that the Times report referred to partnerships that enabled "social experiences - like seeing recommendations from their Facebook friends - on other popular apps and websites".

He described Facebook's cooperation as "reasonable", but said that a lawsuit was necessary "to expedite change" at the company.

The attorney general of the District of Columbia has sued (PDF) Facebook, alleging violations of local consumer protection laws. A copy of the full complaint against Facebook can be viewed here.

You know how Facebook does those year-in-review videos and drops them into people's news feeds?

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