Zuckerberg to Testify Over Cambridge Analytica Data Breach

Meta CEO will be deposed for up to 6 hours in September, court filings show.

Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
2 min read
Mark Zuckerberg and Meta's metaverse

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

James Martin/CNET

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to testify in a lawsuit over Facebook's Cambridge Analytica data breach. Current COO Sheryl Sandberg, who is leaving Meta in the fall, has also been asked to provide testimony, as reported earlier Wednesday by Gizmodo. 

Zuckerberg will be deposed for up to 6 hours and Sandberg for 5 hours in September, according to a filing Tuesday in the District Court Northern District of California San Francisco Division. Javier Olivan, Meta's chief growth officer, who is taking over as COO once Sandberg leaves, will be deposed for 3 hours.

Depositions take place privately, so there's no indication Zuckerberg or Sandberg would take the stand during a potential trial. The depositions stem from a 2018 California class action lawsuit over misuse of user data.

Washington, DC, Attorney General Karl Racine also sued Facebook over its data practices in 2018 after it was revealed that the personal data of 87 million Facebook users in the US was exposed during a breach in 2015. Researchers at Cambridge Analytica, which was affiliated with the Donald Trump presidential campaign, may have misused the data during the 2016 presidential election.

The cases are ongoing, and in May, Zuckerberg was sued separately by Racine, with the complaint alleging the CEO was directly involved in decisions that led to the data breach. Zuckerberg was also required to testify before Congress on the data breach.

In 2019, Meta -- then known as Facebook -- reached an "unprecedented" $5 billion settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission over the data breach.

Meta declined to comment.