Washington: Facebook's parent company Meta has agreed to pay USD 725 million to settle a class action lawsuit that accused the company of sharing users' personal data with the political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica, American technology publication The Verge reported.
"The proposed Settlement of USD 725,000,000 is the largest recovery ever achieved in a data privacy class action and the most Facebook has ever paid to resolve a private class action," Keller Rohrback L.L .P., the law firm representing the plaintiffs, said in a court filing late Thursday.
The lawsuit was filed in 2018 after Facebook disclosed that it had harvested the information of around 87 million users and shared it with Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy firm linked to the 2016 campaign of former President Donald Trump.
The consultancy reportedly used the data for the purpose of voter profiling and targeting political advertising.
The court filing states that "Facebook has meaningfully changed the practices that gave rise to Plaintiffs' allegations" and "meaningfully enhanced its ability to restrict and monitor how third parties acquire and use Facebook users' information." The proposed settlement does not admit any wrongdoing and must still be approved by a judge in the Northern District of California.
In response to the news, a spokesperson for Meta told CNBC: "We pursued a settlement as it's in the best interest of our community and shareholders. Over the last three years we revamped our approach to privacy and implemented a comprehensive privacy program." Meta said it "meaningfully changed" its data-sharing practices since the 2018 scandal, and no longer allows third-parties access to the same data about users.