Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  Cook County Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



Cook County sues Facebook, Cambridge Analytica after alleged misuse of millions of Illinoisans' data

Monday, March 26, 2018
Chicago Tribune
by Ally Morotti

Cook County is suing Facebook and Cambridge Analytica for allegedly violating an Illinois fraud law after reports that the political consulting firm used ill-gotten Facebook data in an effort to influence voter behavior.

Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by President Donald Trump’s campaign, deceived the millions of Illinois Facebook users whose information it collected, alleges the lawsuit, filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court. And Facebook failed to protect its users’ privacy and misrepresented how their data would be used, the lawsuit says.


“(Facebook) sought to keep developers building on its platform and provide companies with all the tools they need to influence and manipulate user behavior,” the suit says. “That’s because Facebook is not a social media company; it is the largest data mining operation in existence.”

The lawsuit joins others brought against the social media giant and Cambridge Analytica in response to a report from The New York Times and The Observer of London earlier this month. The newspapers reported that Cambridge Analytica, whose U.K.-based parent SCL Group was also named in Cook County’s suit, gained access to private information of more than 50 million Facebook users, including their profiles, locations and what they like. The firm claimed its tools could analyze voters’ personalities and influence their behavior with targeted messages.


At least five lawsuits have been filed in federal court in Northern California over the alleged misuse of user data. Those include a suit from a Facebook shareholder who is seeking class-action status, claiming he and other company shareholders have suffered losses and damages since the Cambridge Analytica news was first reported, and another from a woman seeking class-action status over Facebook and Cambridge Analytica’s alleged improper data collection.

Since the report about Cambridge Analytica was published, a public conversation about deleting Facebook profiles has sprung up, and the privacy of people’s online information has come into question. Some experts say that deleting a Facebook profile can’t protect the decade’s worth of data users have already poured into the platform.

The Federal Trade Commission on Monday confirmed that it has opened an investigation into Facebook’s data practices, and U.K. investigators reportedly raided Cambridge Analytica’s offices in London late last week.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post last week that the company took steps several years ago to make sure users’ data aren’t accessed this way again. He also promised that the company would do more to protect its users’ data. “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you,” he wrote.

Cambridge Analytica improperly acquired the information, Facebook has said, but it didn’t steal the data. Users allowed the maker of a personality quiz app to take the data. About 270,000 people took the quiz several years ago, and the app-maker was able to scrape data from their Facebook friends. He then provided the data to Cambridge Analytica.

Still, Facebook told its users that their personal data would be protected, according to the Cook County lawsuit. It engaged in unfair and deceptive conduct when it allowed a third party to collect its users’ data, the suit alleges.

The lawsuit, filed by Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx on behalf of the people of Illinois, brings one count each against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica for allegedly violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

The suit asks that both companies be fined $50,000 for each violation of the law and that Cambridge Analytica be fined an additional $10,000 for each day a violation affecting an Illinois resident age 65 or older has existed.

The companies “must be held accountable for their actions,” Foxx said in a statement.

“Cambridge Analytica deliberately misled Facebook users so it could build psychological profiles of the user and their friends, and Facebook did not stop it,” she said in the statement. “This blatant deception violated Illinois law and more importantly violated the privacy of Illinois residents.”

Cook County is being represented by Chicago law firm Edelson, which has brought privacy suits against Facebook and other tech companies, including Google and Netflix.

Internet security advocates have argued that there aren’t enough laws to protect consumer privacy. Companies often lean on terms of service that consumers sign before using an app or service, but few actually read that fine print. Even if they do, some experts say it is nearly impossible for users to know the extent to which their data could be used.

Facebook said it could not comment immediately on the lawsuit, and Cambridge Analytica did not respond to requests for comment.

Cambridge Analytica has previously denied any wrongdoing and suspended its CEO, Alexander Nix. The app developer, Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan, who is not named in the Cook County suit, told the BBC last week that he didn’t know the data would be used for Trump’s election campaign and that Cambridge Analytica is using him as a scapegoat.

Corilyn Shropshire contributed.

amarotti@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @AllyMarotti




Recent Headlines

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

Settlement over Cook County's 2007 decision to cut inmates' dental care will cost nearly $5.3 million
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-patronage Shakman pact requiring federal oversight of Cook County hiring, firing to end
Friday, August 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

1st District upholds merit board in firing of deputy
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Neighborhood program helps Cook County residents buy homes
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Judge upholds Cook County firearm, ammunition taxes
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Editorial: E-filing should make Cook County courts more accessible. It doesn't
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County tax incentive could pave way for Wingstop, Dunkin' Donuts on Elgin's Summit Street
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: What happened to the elk?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wells Fargo to offer $15,000 grants to potential Cook County homebuyers
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suit alleges Cook County detainees secretly monitored in bathrooms in holding cells at courthouses
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials aren’t sure why
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

A letter from Dr. Jay Shannon regarding gun violence and Stroger Hospital
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

As Evanston adapts to minimum wage hike, nearby towns say they have no plan to join in
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit could blast a $250 million hole in county budget
Monday, August 06, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Pappas: Automatic refunds of $19.5 million going to 53,000 homeowners because of property tax cuts
Monday, August 06, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Thousands of Cook County homeowners to receive property tax refunds
Monday, August 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP