The lawsuits are piling up against Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data misuse and political ad targeting scandal. According to SF Gate the company has been hit with four suits in federal courts so far this week following fresh revelations about how Facebook’s app permissions were abused to surreptitiously suck out vast amounts of user data. One lawsuit filed yesterday in Northern California on behalf of a Facebook shareholder, Jeremiah Hallisey, alleges the company’s senior management “breached their fiduciary duties by failing to prevent the initial misappropriation [of user data by CA] and, after learning of it in 2015, failing to inform affected Facebook users or the public markets”. The complaint names Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg; COO Sheryl Sandberg; and board members Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, Reed Hastings, Erskine Bowles, Susan Desmond-Hellman and Jan Koum as defendants. It notes Facebook has lost $50 billion in market capitalization since the data leak was disclosed, and flags reports that the FTC has launched an inquiry into Facebook’s conduct and whether it violated the terms of a 2011 consent decree that requires the company to notify users before sharing their data with third parties. We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment but at the time of writing the company had not responded. Last week the New York Times and the Observer of London reported revelations from former CA employee Chris Wylie, who detailed how working with a University of Cambridge psychology professor who had developed a survey app to run on Facebook, the political consultancy had been able to obtain vast amounts of user information — as many as 50 million US Facebook users’ profiles — without the vast majority of the users being aware their data had been harvested nor what it would be used for. The firm had been working for the Trump presidential campaign. After the newspaper reports Facebook acknowledged that 270,000 people had downloaded the survey app. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also since gone on CNN to apologize. But the scope and scale of the data mishandling, coupled with Facebook’s failure to inform users when it found about the policy breach in 2015 have played very badly with markets and users alike… “The recent revelations regarding Facebook’s actual practices with respect to user privacy and data security have severely damaged the Company’s reputation and imposed significant costs on it, including regulatory investigations, lost business, exposure to litigation, and other…

Source: TechCrunch – Social Facebook hit with shareholder lawsuits over data misuse crisis