A class action lawsuit claims social media giant Meta abused its dominant position and exploited the data of 44 million UK Facebook users.
According to a new TechCrunch report, Facebook was set to be targeted Friday by a multi-billion-dollar class action suit from a British competition law expert, who alleges that the US social network abused its dominant position with “unfair” terms.
Competition legal expert Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, backed by a powerful litigation fund, is to file a lawsuit against Facebook owner Meta at Britain’s Competition Appeal Tribunal, seeking a minimum of $3.2 billion USD in damages for UK-based users of the site.
The landmark claim, which would be the first of its kind in Britain, seeks financial redress for 44 million UK Facebook users between 2015 and 2019.
“They are exploiting users by taking their personal data without properly compensating them for taking that data,” Lovdahl Gormsen said. “I don’t think the users are entirely clear when they click on the terms and conditions how unfair that deal is.”
She added that Facebook has become “the sole social network in the UK where you could be sure to connect with friends and family in one place.” And even as it locked users into its ecosystem (which includes WhatsApp and Instagram), it was tracking users across other websites as well.
“It abused its market dominance to impose unfair terms and conditions on ordinary Britons giving it the power to exploit their personal data,” said Lovdahl Gormsen.
In response, Meta stressed Facebook was a free service, adding that users retained “meaningful control” over their shared information.
“People access our service for free. They choose our services because we deliver value for them and they have meaningful control of what information they share on Meta’s platforms and who with,” a statement said.
“We have invested heavily to create tools that allow them to do so.”