Massachusetts Supreme Court Rules Facebook Cannot Shield All Information on Apps that Violated User Privacy

March 24, 2021

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that Facebook could be required to disclose to the Attorney General certain factual information about privacy-abusive apps discovered during the company's investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook had claimed that all information it collected was protected by attorney-client and attorney work product privileges because the company's investigation was led by attorneys in anticipation of litigation. The Massachusetts high court disagreed that the attorney client privilege applied to all of the records, and remanded to the trial court to determine if the records contain factual work product that must be turned over to the Attorney General. EPIC filed an amicus brief in the case urging the court to "reject Facebook's attempt to use litigation threats as an excuse to prevent the facts of its breach of user trust from coming to light." EPIC has fought for transparency and accountability for Facebook's privacy abuses for over a decade, from filing the original FTC Complaint in 2009 that led to the FTC's 2012 Consent Order with the company, to moving to intervene in and filing an amicus brief challenging the FTC's 2019 settlement with Facebook.

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