Civil rights groups call for Facebook board overhaul

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The District of Columbia has fired the latest legal salvo against Facebook with a lawsuit seeking to punish the social networking company for allowing data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica to improperly access data from as many as 87 million users.

DC Attorney General Karl Racine's suit alleges that Facebook misled users about the security of their data and failed to properly monitor third-party apps.

Facebook said it's reviewing the complaint and will continue to hold discussions with Racine and attorneys general scattered across the country who have raised red flags about the company's mishandling of personal information.

Earlier this year, Facebook announced that an audit by PriceWaterhouseCoopers revealed that Facebook does not provide user data to third-party applications.

Civil rights organizations are outraged after a U.S. Senate report confirmed that Russian operatives used popular social media platforms to suppress African-American votes in the 2016 presidential election.

The firm used a benign-looking quiz app to gather information on Facebook users and their friends, including names, locations, religious and political affiliations and educational backgrounds.

"We know we've got work to do to regain people's trust", Mr Satterfield said, while acknowledging missteps of the company over the past year.

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The special arrangements are detailed in hundreds of pages of Facebook documents obtained by The New York Times.

In addition, the NAACP said it returned a recent donation from Facebook, while it officially called on Congress to conduct further investigations into the company. That data included names, hometowns, religious and educational backgrounds, friend lists and other data, researchers said at the time.

Revelations about Facebook's response to manipulation of the social network before and after the 2016 USA presidential election, and shifting accounts about breaches of users' privacy, have battered the company's reputation and fueled frustration on Capitol Hill.

Facebook could be levied a civil penalty of $5,000 per violation of the region's consumer protection law, or potentially close to $1.7 billion, if penalized for each consumer affected.

Antonio Garcia Martinez, a former Facebook employee and author, also suggested that most of the partnerships were part of ordinary "data sharing" and had little "actual impact" on users' privacy.

The stock slide was the worst since the owner of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram warned in July that profit margins would erode in coming years because of consumer and government pressure to better guard data and suppress objectionable content.

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