SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Wednesday that his office is taking legal action against Facebook over the social media giant’s privacy practices.
Becerra filed a petition Wednesday demanding San Francisco Superior Court order the tech giant to comply with an outstanding subpoena.
“Our work must move forward. We are left with little choice but to seek a court order compelling Facebook to faithfully comply with our duly authorized subpoenas,” said Attorney General Becerra.
Back in 2018, the attorney general issued an investigative subpoena requiring Facebook to release documents related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Becerra said Facebook took over a year to respond. In June of this year, Becerra served a second subpoena regarding claims Facebook violated user’s privacy. It asked for communications among executives related to developers’ access to user data and privacy-related news stories, among other things.
Becerra says Facebook’s response has been inadequate.
The filing says Facebook “broadly refuses to answer the interrogatories or comply with the subpoena” and additionally noted that the company has refused to search the emails of top executives MarK Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg in response to the subpoena.
When asked for comment on the new action, Facebook Vice President of State and Local Policy Will Castleberry issued a brief statement that said, “We have cooperated extensively with the State of California’s investigation. To date we have provided thousands of pages of written responses and hundreds of thousands of documents.”
California hadn’t joined a separate probe involving attorneys general from New York and other states. The New York probe is looking into Facebook’s dominance and any resulting anticompetitive conduct.
California is also a holdout in a separate probe into Google’s market dominance.
The Federal Trade Commission recently fined Facebook $5 billion over privacy violations, though the penalty was criticized by consumer advocates and a number of public officials as being too lenient.
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