Meta settles Cambridge Analytica scandal case for $725m
Facebook owner Meta has agreed to pay $725m (£600m) to settle legal action over a data breach linked to political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
The long-running dispute accused the social media giant of allowing third parties, including the British firm, to access Facebook users’ personal data.
The proposed sum is the largest in a US data privacy class action, lawyers say.
Meta, which did not admit wrongdoing, said it had “revamped” its approach to privacy over the past three years.
In a statement, the company said settling was “in the best interest of our community and shareholders”.
“We look forward to continuing to build services people love and trust with privacy at the forefront.”
Tech author James Ball told the BBC it was “not a surprise” that Meta has had to agree to a serious pay-out but that it was “not that much” money to the tech giant.
“It’s less than a tenth of what it spent on its efforts to create ‘the metaverse’ last year alone,” he said.
“So Meta probably won’t be too unhappy with this deal, but it does stand as a warning to social media companies that mistakes can prove very costly indeed.”
The suggested settlement, which was disclosed in a court filing late on Thursday, is subject to the approval of a federal judge in San Francisco.
“This historic settlement will provide meaningful relief to the class in this complex and novel privacy case,” lead lawyers for the plaintiffs, Derek Loeser and Lesley Weaver, said in a statement.
SriLankan CEO forecasts USD 50 mn. profit in 2024 (Video)
SriLankan Airlines is expecting passenger traffic to surpass pre-pandemic levels by year-end during its peak travel period, thanks to a boom in tourism.
In an interview with Channel News Asia (CNA), Nuttall said that he expected a ‘stronger outlook’ for next year, with matters gradually returning to normalcy in terms of the country’s economy and its tourist arrivals.
“Assuming that the world stays the same for the year ahead, which we expect, and the Sri Lankan economy is rebounding, tourism is coming back, we’re forecasting perhaps a 50 million profit next year”, he said in this regard.
SVAT to be abolished!
The government has decided to abolish the existing Simplified Value Added Tax (SVAT) system with effect from January 1, 2024.
Accordingly, the proposal submitted to the Cabinet to give instructions to draft laws to prepare a bill to amend the relevant provisions of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act has been approved.
The Government Information Department said that two major reforms regarding Value Added Tax should be introduced in accordance with the International Monetary Fund’s Extended Funding Facility (EFF).
Accordingly, the government said the VAT system should be reformed by removing the majority of exemptions and the SVAT system should be abolished.
Approximately 1.2% of the gross domestic product from the tax income can be increased by reactivating the logic of the existing release of VAT.
Oil prices rise as Saudi Arabia pledges output cuts
Oil-producing countries have agreed to continued cuts in production in a bid to shore up flagging prices.
Saudi Arabia said it would make cuts of a million barrels per day (bpd) in July and Opec+ said targets would drop by a further 1.4 million bpd from 2024.
Opec+ accounts for around 40% of the world’s crude oil and its decisions can have a major impact on oil prices.
In Asia trade on Monday, Brent crude oil rose by as much as 2.4% before settling at around $77 a barrel.
Average diesel prices fell by a record 12p per litre in the UK last month, according to the RAC.
The seven hour-long meeting on Sunday of the oil-rich nations, led by Russia, came against a backdrop of falling energy prices.
Total production cuts, which Opec+ has undertaken since October 2022, reached 3.66 million bpd, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.
Opec+, a formulation which refers to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, had already agreed to cut production by two million bpd, about 2% of global demand.
“The result of the discussions was the extension of the deal until the end of 2024,” Mr Novak said.
In April, it also agreed a surprise voluntary cut of 1.6 million bpd which took effect in May, a move that briefly saw an increase in prices but failed to bring about a lasting recovery.
On Sunday, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the cut of one million bpd could be extended beyond July if needed. “This is a Saudi lollipop,” he said, in what is seen as a bid to stabilise the market.
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