Facebook Parent Meta Agrees to Settle Cambridge Analytica Lawsuit


META -4.15%


Meta Platforms Inc.

META -4.15%

agreed to settle a lawsuit that accused the social-media platform of allowing third parties, including Cambridge Analytica, to access private user data, according to a court filing on Friday.

Meta and the Facebook users suing the company said in the joint filing that they had reached an agreement in principle but didn’t provide financial or other details.

The two sides requested a 60-day stay of the lawsuit, which is being handled by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The suit followed revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a now-defunct British consulting firm that worked on former President

Donald Trump’s

2016 campaign, had improperly obtained and exploited Facebook user data.

Facebook agreed to pay fines in the U.S. and U.K., and make changes to its privacy practices following the incident. The company hasn’t admitted to any wrongdoing. Cambridge Analytica, which closed in 2018, has denied any wrongdoing.

Meta declined to comment on the potential settlement agreement. Attorneys for the plaintiffs couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Saturday.

Lawyers for Facebook users were set to question Meta Chief Executive

Mark Zuckerberg

and former Chief Operating Officer

Sheryl Sandberg.

The parties had agreed that Mr. Zuckerberg was to be questioned for six hours and Ms. Sandberg for five hours, according to a court filing in July.

Javier Olivan,

the current chief operating officer, was set to answer questions for three hours.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs had been set to question Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg for six hours, according to a July court filing.


Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In 2019, the company, then known as Facebook Inc., agreed to a $5 billion fine from the Federal Trade Commission. The agreement included restructuring the company’s board of directors to boost its oversight of privacy practices. The FTC investigation centered on whether that lapse violated a 2012 consent decree with the agency under which Facebook agreed to better protect user privacy.

Mr. Zuckerberg, following the 2019 settlement, said he hoped the FTC-imposed mandates on Facebook would “set a completely new standard for our industry.”

Cambridge Analytica shut down after the allegations surrounding Facebook data and other questions about its political tactics. The company had won political consulting work in the U.S. by offering to use data to profile and influence voters with political messages. It contracted for several Republican presidential candidates ahead of the 2016 election, including Mr. Trump’s campaign.

Write to Jennifer Hiller at jennifer.hiller@wsj.com

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