In the first significant move by US to punish the Facebook, Washington DC's top prosecutor is suing the social media giant for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine has filed the lawsuit on Wednesday. The lawsuit accused Facebook of selling the personal data of over 87 million users.
“Facebook failed to protect the privacy of its users and deceived them about who had access to their data and how it was used. Facebook put users at risk of manipulation by allowing companies like Cambridge Analytica and other third-party applications to collect personal data without users’ permission. Today’s lawsuit is about making Facebook live up to its promise to protect its users’ privacy,” Racine said in a statement.
“The aim of the suit is to seek monetary and injunctive relief, including relief for harmed consumers, damages, and penalties to the District,” added Racine.
A Facebook spokesperson told the BBC: "We're reviewing the complaint and look forward to continuing our discussions with attorneys general in DC and elsewhere."
Racine's lawsuit claims that when attorney general's office investigated Facebook, they found a variety of consumer protection failures and the Facebook data of nearly half of the District of Columbia’s residents had been exposed by Cambridge Analytica’s harvesting.
Racine also claimed that the social media company misled people about the security of their data, and made it difficult to control privacy settings on the platform.
Apart from this fresh lawsuit, Facebook is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice.
Earlier this year, Facebook was fined 500,000 pounds over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the maximum fine the British data regulator can impose.