Facebook founder, chairman, CEO, and majority shareholder Mark Zuckerberg was involved with decisions the social media behemoth made involving Cambridge Analytica according to the Attorney General of Washington, D.C., who says he is adding him to a major privacy lawsuit. That could potentially expose the billionaire personally to financial or other penalties.
"I just added Mark Zuckerberg as a defendant in my lawsuit against Facebook," D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced Wednesday via Twitter. "Our continuing investigation revealed that he was personally involved in decisions related to Cambridge Analytica and Facebook's failure to protect user data."
The New York Times Wednesday morning adds that Racine "said on Tuesday that continuing interviews and reviews of internal documents for the case had revealed that Mr. Zuckerberg played a much more active role in key decisions than prosecutors had known."
The privacy lawsuit, first filed in 2018, "alleges that Facebook misled consumers about privacy on the platform by allowing Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, to obtain sensitive data from more than 87 million users, including more than half the district's residents," the Times adds.
A portion of the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal includes Cambridge Analytica harvesting data of approximately 87 million users and then using it to help the 2016 political campaigns of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
In 2018 The Times reported that along with other news organizations it had "obtained a cache of documents from inside Cambridge Analytica," which "proved that the firm, where the former Trump aide Stephen K. Bannon was a board member, used data improperly obtained from Facebook to build voter profiles."
The shuttered and rebranded and re-shuttered Cambridge Analytica was owned by right-wing donor Robert Mercer, who also reportedly played a key role in the Brexit movement. Mercer was a top Trump donor and major financial supporter of the far right wing website Breitbart.