Facebook sued over Cambridge Analytica scandal

Mark Zuckerberg's worth falls by $15 billion after a year of Facebook controversies

The top legal officer in the U.S. capital city has sued Facebook over privacy violations related to personal data leaked to the Cambridge Analytica consultancy working on Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.

Facebook Inc. came under renewed pressure from lawmakers following a New York Times report that the social media company allowed more than 150 companies access to more users' personal data than it had disclosed.

He said the Times's report "is yet another data point demonstrating that Facebook offers users far too little in the way of transparency about how their data is being used, and by whom".

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

The DC lawsuit alleges that Facebook failed to properly monitor data-gathering by third-party apps and that its privacy settings aren't easy for people to use.

It turned out that Facebook had even developed a special tool which could turn access to private data on and off - even if a user had already disabled sharing of their information.

The action appears to be the first from a USA prosecutor since revelations about were first reported in March.

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In 2013, a researcher launched a Facebook app that claimed to generate a personality profile.

It has some nice touches: "You made a new friend!" the video proclaims, before showing a picture of Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie. Facebook revealed in September that hackers had taken advantage of a piece of code allowing them to take over users' accounts.

Facebook agreed in 2011 to an arrangement with the Federal Trade Commission, which forces Facebook to undergo an external audit of their privacy policies and practices every two years.

"It appears that Facebook has not been honest with Congress or the public about how it treats its users' data", Congressman Frank Pallone, a Democrat, said in a tweet.

Facebook used contact lists from the partners, including Chinese company Huawei, which American officials consider a security threat because of its connections to China - to gain deeper insight into people's relationships, TheNYT's report notes, citing internal company records.

The Canadian bank RBC, also cited in The New York Times, said the deal with Facebook "was limited to the development of a service that enabled clients to facilitate payment transactions to their Facebook friends", and that it was discontinued in 2015.

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