Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

Cold December as safety nets expire

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Safety nets are likely to be yanked from underneath millions of vulnerable Americans in December, as the coronavirus surges.

Why it matters: Those most at risk are depending on one or more relief programs that are set to expire, right as the economic recovery becomes more fragile than it's been in months.

14 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

17 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.