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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The District of Columbia’s attorney general sued Facebook Wednesday for allegedly letting outside companies, including the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, improperly access user data and for failing to properly disclose that fact.

Why it matters: The regulatory action comes as the Federal Trade Commission is also investigating Facebook over the privacy scandal, which sparked greater scrutiny of the way Silicon Valley has vacuumed up consumer data.

Details: The lawsuit filed in D.C. Superior Court alleges that Facebook misled consumers about how their data was being accessed. It cites the Cambridge Analytica case, as well as broader data-sharing agreements with outside partners, including device makers.

  • Attorney General Karl Racine's investigation began after the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke earlier this year. In that story, an outside developer gathered the data of Facebook users' friends without their knowledge and then provided that data to the consulting firm.
  • Racine told reporters that it then became clear that Facebook had been ”fast and loose” with user data in other ways as well.
  • Assistant Deputy Attorney General Jimmy Rock said it was possible that more claims would be added to the suit as the office learned more about Facebook's practices through legal discovery.
  • The office is seeking monetary damages as well as new privacy protections from Facebook.

By the numbers: The attorney general's office told reports that monetary penalties in the case could be as high as $5,000 for each violation.

  • If the maximum penalties were to be leveled for the roughly 340,000 D.C. residents the office said were implicated in the Cambridge Analytica data leak, it would amount to about $1.7 billion.
  • Yes, but: Damages in the case could also be far less than that, especially if Facebook settles the suit.

What they're saying: “We’re reviewing the complaint and look forward to continuing our discussions with attorneys general in D.C. and elsewhere," said a Facebook spokesperson in a statement.

Go deeper: Read the complaint

Go deeper

Scoop: Biden briefing calls for 20,000 child migrant beds

President Biden, during a virtual meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

A briefing scheduled for President Biden this afternoon outlines the need for 20,000 beds to shelter an expected crush of child migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The rapid influx of unaccompanied children is building into the administration's first new crisis. A presentation created by the Domestic Policy Council spells out the dimensions with nearly 40 slides full of charts and details.

FBI director: Jan. 6 Capitol attack was domestic terrorism

The FBI views the Jan. 6 Capitol siege as an act of domestic terrorism, director Christopher Wray testified in his opening statement Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Why it matters: The FBI's designation of the attack as domestic terrorism puts the perpetrators "on the same level with ISIS and homegrown violent extremists," Wray said.

Sen. Martin Heinrich to introduce plan for Puerto Rico statehood

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) at a hearing on Feb. 23, 2021 in Washington, D.C. PHOTO: Jim Watson-Pool/Getty Images

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) announced Tuesday they would introduce legislation to start the motions for Puerto Rico statehood.

Why it matters: More than 52% of Puerto Ricans voted last November in favor of statehood, three years after Hurricane Maria struck the island and caused one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history. It exposed the island's vulnerable position as a U.S. territory and its lack of resources to battle poverty.