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Meta to settle Cambridge Analytica lawsuit for $725 million

Meta, the parent company of social media giant Facebook, will pay $725 million to settle the class action lawsuit claiming it allowed British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica and others to improperly access users' private information without their consent, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Per the court filing, the proposed agreement is the "largest recovery ever achieved in a data privacy class action and the most Facebook has ever paid to resolve a private class action." 

"We pursued a settlement as it's in the best interest of our community and shareholders. Over the last three years we revamped our approach to privacy and implemented a comprehensive privacy program," a Meta spokesperson told CNBC, which noted Meta did not admit to any wrongdoing as part of the deal.

Cambridge Analytica shut down in the wake of the highly-publicized scandal, which saw the British firm exploit Facebook user data while working on former President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, the Journal notes. Data from some 87 million users could have been affected, Meta said.

The Mark Zuckerberg-helmed company had agreed in August to settle the case in principle, though a financial agreement on the matter only materialized this week. The terms must still be approved by the court.

Meta previously paid fines in connection with the scandal in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, and also implemented privacy changes as part of a 2019 settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the Journal notes.