Facebook investors sue the social media giant over voter-profile harvesting

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is silhouetted beneath the company's logo.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is silhouetted beneath the company’s logo.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Facebook investors sued Facebook on Tuesday, blaming the social media giant’s failure to safeguard privacy for a stock slump that followed the revelation that users’ data were harvested without permission by a research firm connected to President Trump.

The world’s largest social media network was sued in San Francisco federal court Tuesday by shareholders who said they suffered losses after the disclosure that Cambridge Analytica, a British company that aided Trump, improperly obtained profile information on 50 million Facebook users.

The proposed class action would represent people who bought Facebook shares from Feb. 3, 2017, when Facebook filed its annual report and cited security breaches and improper access to user data, through March 19 of this year, two days after a New York Times report revealed how data from Cambridge Analytica obtained through Facebook were used without “proper disclosures or permission.”

Throughout that period, “defendants made false or misleading statements and failed to disclose that Facebook violated its own data privacy policies by allowing third parties access to personal data of millions of Facebook users without their consent,” the complaint alleges.

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