The Facebook shareholder who filed a class-action suit against the social media giant may have a tough time making his case, according to Judge Andrew Napolitano.
“It is nearly impossible for a jury to ascertain why the stock went down,” Napolitano, a Fox News contributor, told Stuart Varney during a FOX Business interview on Wednesday.
Shareholder Fan Yuan claims in the lawsuit filed in California that the social media giant made “false and misleading” statements about how it handles the personal data of its users. He alleges that its practices caused the share price to drop and the company’s market capitalization to plunge by tens of billions of dollars.
Facebook is facing scrutiny after The New York Times and other outlets reported on how Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm that had a role in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, tapped the personal data of more than 50 million Facebook users without permission. Facebook suspended the firm from its platform after the report surfaced.
According to Napolitano, a better way to proceed legally may be to focus on Facebook’s agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to obtain the consent of consumers before sharing their information beyond established privacy settings.
“There is no question that Facebook doesn’t give a damn about the private information of its users,” Napolitano said. “But that has nothing to do with the stock value. It has to do with the harm of exposing private information.”