Facebook users could sue the site for $17,500 each after data leak.

Facebook, the most used website in the world could be having to make a huge pay out.

A recent scandal at the heart of the data protection aspect of the website could see each and every Facebook user being entitles to sue the company for $17,500 each.

Despite being a social media site where people willing put up intensely private details, many were shocked when it was revealed their data was being sold to advertisers.

The privacy settings on Facebook are intensely complex, and many people who use the site claim that they do not fully understand the terms and conditions.

Data such as names, addresses and phone numbers are willingly given to Facebook by many of it’s users.

However, in good faith, many user believed that this data was private. The scandal came when it was revealed that a data-analysis company had created a program which could not only fish for data of Facebook users, but was able to access the data of everyone in their friends list.

The company ‘Cambridge Analytica’ have been accused of harvesting data and then using this to tailor adverts to the user during the last American Presidential election.

It is claimed that advertising was bought and sold in order to win the election for Donald Trump, who was an unlikely candidate till the end stages of the election.

Law professor Maureen Mapp has stated that if every user was to sue for the $17,500 they should be entitled to after the data breach, this would bankrupt the company. The damages would total £625 billion while the company is only worth around £317 billion.

She told the Sun:

‘There are about 50 million users whose data was harvested,’ 

‘Assuming each one of them brought a claim for compensation for distress caused by the data breach…each individual may be awarded £12,500 as damages.’

Public apology

The public outrage at the data breach is a little rich considering how far reaching and cynical the company is.

It is the most widely used website in the world, and it is free, where do people think Facebook makes their money from?

Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, who has since sold the company was called on to give his insider insight into the way Facebook operates.

He apologized for the way Facebook had acted and vowed to change things for the better.

He said:

“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you, ”