The Consumers' Association is taking Facebook to court with the Data Privacy Foundation (DPS). The parties believe that Facebook should compensate its Dutch users for violating their privacy.
According to the Consumers' Association and DPS, Facebook has collected private data from its users and their Facebook friends for years and provides that data to third parties without permission.
The Consumers' Association and DPS also believe that Facebook misled its users. "The platform wrongly promised that it would always be free to use, when users actually paid with their data. Thus, Facebook enriched itself unjustly and at the expense of its users."
The parties believe that Facebook should compensate all users in the Netherlands. They call on consumers to register free of charge via a special page to support the collective action.
Level of compensation not yet clear
The American law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein finances the case of the Consumers' Association and DPS. This is done on a ' no win, no fee ' basis. This means that the agency will only receive reimbursement of the costs incurred and a reimbursement of a maximum of 18 percent of the proceeds of the action, if the promotion is successful.
According to the Consumers' Association, it is not yet possible to say whether Facebook users will be compensated and if so: how high that amount will be. "We believe that Facebook should come up with an arrangement that offers sufficient compensation for what the platform did wrong. We want to discuss this with Facebook. If necessary, we will enforce our demands through the courts."
In a statement to NU.nl, a spokesperson for Facebook says that the privacy of users is taken "very seriously". "We have made every effort to ensure that we meet the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), including clarifying our policy and easily locating our privacy settings. We also requested input from privacy experts and regulators in all of Europe. "
Developers were wrongly given access to user data
The best known example of user data that came into the hands of third parties is the Cambridge Analytica scandal. In 2018, it appeared that this company had collected Facebook data from 87 million users worldwide through a rogue quiz app. Users were not aware of this.
In early July of this year, it appeared that Facebook was still wrongly providing data, even after adjusting its rules. Five thousand developers had access to information from inactive Facebook users, the company itself announced.
NU.nl has asked Facebook for a response. This message will be added later.