Last December, Washington D.C. attorney general Karl Racine filed a lawsuit against Facebook for its role in the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal, arguing that the social media giant violated the District’s consumer protection laws. Now Facebook is defending itself in court, and denying aspects of its privacy practices that don’t even make sense.
According to Racine’s suit, Facebook has “failed to live up to” its commitment to protect user data by collecting, recording and maintaining it.
“Facebook collects and maintains a trove of its consumers’ personal data, as well as data regarding its consumers’ digital behavior on and off the Facebook website,” the suit reads. “Facebook permits third-party developers — including developers of applications and mobile device makers — to access this sensitive information.”
However, Facebook issued a blanket denial of every accusation in the suit, including that it collects user info. Instead, the company said that “users can provide Facebook with certain information.” And in perhaps the most nonsensical passage of its response, Facebook denied that its platform can be used to connect with friends and build a social network.
Facebook always says that it will defend itself vigorously in court, but these strange denials may be a step too far. Time will tell how a judge will respond to Facebook’s argument that it basically isn’t a social network at all.
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