Up to 44 million UK Facebook users could share £2.3bn in damages, according to a competition expert intending to sue parent company Meta.
Dr Liza Lovdahl Gormsen claims Meta “abused her market dominance” in order to establish an “unfair pricing” for the free use of Facebook UK user’s personal data.
She plans to take the case before the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
Meta representatives stated that users have “meaningful control” over what data they share.
Facebook “abused their market dominance by imposing unfair terms and conditions upon ordinary Britons, giving them the power to exploit personal data”, Dr Lovdahl- Gormsen states.
These data were gathered from 2015 to 2019, and gave the company a detailed overview of their internet use. This helped them make “excessive profits”.
She says that anyone who has used Facebook during this period and is a UK resident will automatically be included in the claim, unless they opt out.
But, November’s Supreme Court in the UK rejected an optout claim by Google for billions of dollars in damages. This was in response to alleged illegal tracking on millions of iPhones. Google stated that this issue had been resolved 10 years ago.
No cost services
In that instance, the judge ruled in favor of the claimant. He failed to show damage to any individual caused by data collection.
He did however not exclude the possibility that future mass-action lawsuits could arise if damage can be calculated.
BBC News interviewed Dr Lovdahl Gormsen, who said: “Optouts are permitted by the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
“As such, I am able to file a claim for damages on behalf 44 million British Facebook users.”
Meta denies the allegation.
It says that people use the free service because they are able to control how their data is used and find it useful.
BBC News spoke with a representative to say that people can use our service at no cost.
“They chose our services because they provide value and have control over the information that they share and whom they share it with on Meta’s platforms.
We have made significant investments to provide tools to enable them to achieve this goal.
However, the latest legal case only adds fuel to the company’s legal fights
Recent approval by the US Federal Trade Commission to sue Meta for violating antitrust rules was given.
Meta claimed it was confident it would prevail at court.
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