Supreme Court to hear Meta case related to Cambridge Analytica scandal

The Supreme Court has agreed to review a lawsuit brought ⁣by shareholders against Meta Platforms, formerly known as Facebook. The ⁢lawsuit claims that Meta misled investors regarding​ the data harvesting ⁢scandal ‌involving the ⁣political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. ⁢This decision marks a significant step in the‍ legal scrutiny surrounding ‍Meta’s handling of user data related to this controversy.

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider a shareholder lawsuit that accuses Meta Platforms, the company behind Facebook, of misleading investors about the data harvesting controversy that involved political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

The justices agreed to decide whether a federal appeals court was in the wrong to allow the lawsuit to go forward based on allegations that the company inflated share prices by failing to disclose the level of risk to user data. The court’s decision in the case could determine how much disclosure of damaging information on Securities and Exchange Commission forms is adequate.

In this Wednesday, June 11, 2014, photo, a man walks past a sign in an office on the Facebook campus in Menlo Park, California. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Investors said the data harvesting scandal caused two 2018 price drops that cost Meta, then Facebook, more than $200 billion in market capitalization. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with investors and allowed the case to move forward.

Meta had urged the high court to take up its appeal, arguing that the 9th Circuit’s decision would “force public companies to inform investors of past incidents that pose no known threat to the business.”

The Cambridge Analytica breach caused all sorts of commotion in Washington, D.C., from investigations into Facebook’s privacy policy to congressional hearings in which CEO Mark Zuckerberg was scolded by lawmakers. The company agreed in 2019 to pay $5.1 billion in civil penalties to settle charges by the SEC and the Federal Trade Commission due to the data breach.


Cambridge Analytica collected users’ personal data through Facebook and then used that data in its work with Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Justices will weigh the decision sometime in the 2024-25 term beginning in the fall, with a decision expected before the end of next June.

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