On Thursday, Facebook Inc has urged a judge not to push it to turn over records to Massachusetts’ Attorney General disclosing several apps the social media giant suspects of being abuse user’s data, as part of investigation into its privacy practices.
The social media giant argued against the disclosure during a court hearing in Boston concerning several investigations by the state attorney’s general regarding its business practices and the range that it has put consumer data at risk.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who is a Democrat, is among those who introduced the probe in 2018 into Facebook after the disclosure that the political consulting firm - Cambridge Analytical - has illegally gained access to information from over 87 million users.
In August, Ms. Healey has turned to the courts to enforce the civil similar of a subpoena against Facebook after it declined to disclose the identities of 10000 apps rated suspicious in an internal probe it introduced in the wake of the scandal.
Assistant Attorney General Sara Cable told Judge Brian Davis that the records were required to regulate the extent that the social media giant has turned a “blind eye” to the misuse of users’ data by app developers despite policies aimed at protecting them.
Ms. Cable said that “the information we are seeking is, ‘Who are you policing’?”
She continued that the question was suitable given that Cambridge Analytical, which was hired by Republican President Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential Election, obtained the data from an app developer in violation of its policies.
As per the court papers, the internal probe of Facebook has led it to suspend 69000 apps, mostly due to their developers didn’t cooperate with the investigating team. Over 10000 apps were identified as having potentially misused user’s data.
Facebook’s lawyer Felicia Ellsworth has argued that many of the records were discussed by Attorney-Client Privilege, as the probe was led by a law firm in the forecast of assault of regulatory investigations and lawsuits that followed.
Ms. Ellsworth further said that “they did it to have a full and frank airing of legal risk.”
The argument provoked sharp interrogating by Judge Brian Davis, who seems skeptical of the possibility that the social media giant wouldn’t have otherwise probe practices of app developers in the wake of the rumors but for the threat of litigation.
He continued, “Everyone I think agrees Cambridge Analytical was an unhappy event.”
California is also conducting similar investigations.
Finally, in July, Facebook has accepted to pay a record $5 billion to fix a probe of the Federal Trade Commission into its privacy practices.