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Judge Orders Facebook To Turn Over Data Privacy Records

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg

A U.S. judge has ordered Facebook to give investors emails and other accounts concerning how the social media company handles information privacy, after data for about 87 million users was accessed by the British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

In a 57-page result on Thursday, which followed a one-day experimental in March, Vice Chancellor Joseph Slights of the Delaware Chancery Court alleging that shareholders established a “credible basis” to believe Facebook board members might have committed offense related to information privacy breaches.

Slights, however, noted that the social media giant had at the time of the 2015 Cambridge Analytica break been subject to a U.S. Federal Trade Commission consent verdict that required it to strengthen its information security measures. The breach was not exposed not until March 2018.

Meanwhile “Evidence obtainable at trial provides a reliable basis to infer the board and Facebook senior managers failed to oversee Facebook’s agreement with the consent decree and its wider efforts to protect the private information of its users,” Slights penned.

Investors sued Facebook last September to obtain accounts related to Cambridge Analytica and other breaks and said that upon finding offense, they might sue the company officers and directors through a derivative lawsuit.

Similarly, derivative proceedings are brought on behalf of companies, with money discovered from officers and directors, or their brokers, going to the companies by themselves.

But, Facebook’s share value sank 19%, wiping out $120 billion of investors wealth, Also, last July 26 after the Menlo Park, California company sent disappointing outcomes in the first full quarter since the Cambridge Analytica breach was exposed, and said it was spending more on safety measures.

As a result, Cambridge Analytica, employed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, employed profiling techniques to forecast and influence voter behavior.

It, however, shut down after the breach was revealed, and numerous U.S. and European controlling probes into Facebook followed.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said a U.S. Senate panel in April 2018 exposed the Cambridge Analytica breach in 2015, but neither showed an audit nor told users and the FTC.

Slights, however, denied some of the investors’ record requirements as overbroad.