The District of Columbia on Monday sued Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg, seeking to hold him personally liable for the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a privacy breach of millions of Facebook users’ personal data that became a major corporate and political scandal.
D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine filed the civil lawsuit against Zuckerberg in D.C. Superior Court. The lawsuit maintains that Zuckerberg directly participated in important company decisions and was aware of the potential dangers of sharing users’ data, such as occurred in the case involving data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica.
Cambridge Analytica gathered details on as many as 87 million Facebook users without their permission. Their data is alleged to have been used to manipulate the 2016 presidential election.
Zuckerberg, who co-founded Facebook and has headed its board since 2012, controls more than 50% of Facebook’s voting shares and “maintains an unparalleled level of control over the operations of Facebook as it has grown into the largest social media company in the world,” the lawsuit says.
Racine is seeking damages and penalties from Zuckerberg as may be determined in a trial.
Meta Platforms spokesman Andy Stone declined to comment. Meta, the parent of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, is based in Menlo Park, California.