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What Did Facebook Know? Legal Advocacy Group Seeks Information from Facebook on Misuse of Data During the 2016 Election

Free Speech For People demands a books and records inspection on behalf of a Facebook shareholder, the company has five business days to respond.

WASHINGTON - Following reports that Facebook data had been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica and used by the campaign of Donald J. Trump, Free Speech For People submitted a books and records inspection request under Delaware Corporations Code Section 220 on behalf of a shareholder to learn what the company knew, when it knew it, and what actions it took in response to Cambridge Analytica's misuse of Facebook data of 50 million users in the 2016 election.

According to the Demand For Inspection of Facebook’s Books and Records:

“The inspection is sought. . . to allow a shareholder to investigate the actions of Facebook’s senior management and board with respect to the Company’s admission that Global Science Research, Cambridge Analytica and Eunoia Technologies, Inc. misused Facebook user data; whether Facebook’s senior management or board of directors engaged in mismanagement, wrongdoing, or breach of fiduciary duties in dealing with the misuse of user data by Global Science Research, Cambridge Analytica and Eunoia Technologies, Inc., and whether this mismanagement, wrongdoing, or breach of fiduciary duties may have occurred with respect to other third parties that Facebook entered into agreements with regarding the acquisition of Facebook user data between 2014 and the present.”

“The mismanagement of this scandal is yet another black mark on Facebook’s senior management and board of directors,” said Shanna Cleveland, Senior Counsel at Free Speech For People. “The abuse of social networks to influence the 2016 presidential election is not only an existential threat to democracy, it also poses an existential threat to Facebook’s business model that management and the board appear unwilling or unable to reckon with.”

Delaware law provides investors with a key tool to investigate exactly the kind of mismanagement and wrongdoing that seems to be at the heart of this massive breach of trust with Facebook’s users about how and when their data may be accessed. Investors may inspect records for any number of proper purposes including “seeking an audience with the board to discuss proposed reforms.” 

Under the statute, the company has five business days to respond to the request.

Read the full demand here.

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Free Speech for People is a non-profit, non-partisan legal advocacy organization that works to renew our democracy and our United States Constitution for we the people, not big money and corporate interests. For more information, visit: www.freespeechforpeople.org.

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