BOSTON: The best court in Massachusetts on Wednesday overturned an order requiring Facebook Inc. to hand over to Attorney General Maura Healey records identifying applications suspected of misusing customer data, but judges said she could eventually receive some materials.
The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that while some of Facebookrecords are protected from disclosure, Healy demonstrates “substantial need” for social media investigation materials confidentiality practices following Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Healy called the ruling “another lawsuit against Facebook’s attempt to hide information from the public about other app developers who may have committed illegal acts such as Cambridge Analytica.”
Facebook said it was reviewing the decision, but appreciated the confirmation that its posts were privileged.
The recordings date from 2018. internal investigation under the supervision of the law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, which Facebook launched after revealing that the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had improperly accessed data from 87 million users of the social network.
Former President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign hired Cambridge Analytica.
According to court documents, Facebook’s internal investigation led it to suspend 69,000 applications, mostly because their developers did not cooperate in the investigation. About 10,000 were identified as potentially misusing user information.
Hailey, a Democrat, filed a lawsuit in 2019 to impose the civilian equivalent of a subpoena to obtain the identity of applications.
Judge Scott Kafker, writing to the court, said a lower court judge had wrongly concluded that Facebook’s information did not qualify as a lawyer’s “working product” potentially protected from disclosure.
But Kafker said further proceedings by the lower court would likely determine that “a significant amount of information” could be disclosed.
Other states are also investigating, and Washington’s attorney general has sued Facebook. In 2019, Facebook agreed to pay $ 5 billion to solve the problem Federal Trade Commission explore his privacy practices.