Facebook Wins Dismissal in Canada’s Cambridge Analytica Case


  • A judge dismissed the privacy watchdog’s claim against Facebook in the Cambridge Analytica case.
  • The watchdog failed to prove Facebook did not obtain valid consent or adequately protect users’ information.
  • The scandal involved the “This is Your Digital Life” app and was jointly investigated by the federal privacy commissioner and his B.C. counterpart.

A Canadian judge has dismissed the country’s privacy watchdog’s claim that Facebook violated privacy law in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, reports The Canadian Press.

The judge, Justice Michael Manson, ruled that the commissioner had failed to prove that Facebook had not obtained valid and meaningful consent from users, or that it had not adequately protected their information. Manson wrote that the watchdog’s case was based on “speculation and unsupported inferences” and that Facebook had no obligation to manually review the privacy policies of third-party apps.

In response to the ruling, Facebook said it was pleased with the decision and had worked to transform privacy and build one of the most comprehensive privacy programs in the world. The privacy commissioner’s office, on the other hand, said it was reviewing the court’s decision to determine the next steps.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal was brought to light in 2018, when it was revealed that the political consulting firm had obtained the personal information of millions of Facebook users without their consent. In Canada, the scandal affected more than 600,000 users, leading to an investigation by the privacy commissioner.

In 2019, the federal privacy commissioner at the time, Daniel Therrien, and his British Columbia counterpart jointly conducted an investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved the “This is Your Digital Life” app. The commissioners’ report cited major shortcomings in Facebook’s procedures and called for stronger privacy laws to protect Canadians.

The commissioner’s report found that Facebook had violated Canada’s privacy law by failing to obtain valid and meaningful consent from users and their friends, and by having “inadequate safeguards” to protect user information.

The dismissal of the privacy watchdog’s claim against Facebook is a blow to privacy advocates who have been calling for stronger privacy laws and greater protection of user data. It also raises questions about the effectiveness of Canada’s privacy laws and enforcement mechanisms.