On Tuesday, a judge denied the District of Columbia Attorney General’s motion to name Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, as a defendant in a privacy lawsuit.
In a hearing, Superior Court of the District of Columbia Judge Maurice A. Ross stated that Washington’s attorney general, Karl Racine, had waited far too long to rectify the lawsuit to name Mr. Zuckerberg as a defendant, a maneuver that aimed to hold him personally accountable.
Judge Ross also denied Mr. Racine’s request to depose Mr. Zuckerberg in connection with the lawsuit.
Mr. Racine’s lawsuit accused Facebook, which rebranded itself Meta last year, of misleading consumers regarding privacy on the platform by letting Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, to obtain sensitive data from over 87 million users, including more than half of the district’s residents.
Mr. Racine attempted to add Mr. Zuckerberg as a defendant in October, claiming that he wanted to send a message to all corporate CEOs that they could be held liable for consumer harm. Mr. Zuckerberg could have faced financial and other penalties if he had been named in the lawsuit.
“The company failed to protect the data of its users — tens of millions of users nationally and nearly half of all District residents — when Cambridge Analytica acquired and used that data to manipulate the 2016 election. We are holding Facebook accountable for these reckless actions.” according to a sportsperson from Mr. Racine’s office.
Facebook is embroiled in a number of legal battles with regulators. The Federal Trade Commission and several state attorneys general have filed antitrust and consumer protection lawsuits against it.