Meta is facing a £2.3 billion class action lawsuit in the UK over accusations it abused its market position by exploiting 44 million users’ personal data.
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) senior advisor Liza Lovdahl Gormsen said that she was bringing the case on behalf of all the people who had used Facebook during 2016 and 2019.
The lawsuit will be heard by London’s Competition Appeal Tribubal and alleges that Facebook made billions of pounds by imposing unfair terms and conditions that demanded consumers surrender valuable personal data to access the network.
Facebook attempted to cool the situation by saying that its platform delivered value for them and “they have meaningful control of what information they share on Meta’s platforms and who with.”
The news of the suit comes just days after Meta lost its appeal to can an antitrust lawsuit by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), one of the biggest suits brought against a tech company in decades as Washington attempts to clampdown on big tech dominance.
“In the 17 years since it was created, Facebook became the sole social network in the UK where you could be sure to connect with friends and family in one place,” Lovdahl Gornsen told Reuters.
“Yet, there was a dark side to Facebook; it abused its market dominance to impose unfair terms and conditions on ordinary Britons, giving it the power to exploit their personal data.”
Gormsen claims Facebook collected data within its platform and through mechanisms like the Facebook Pixel, allowing it to collate an “all-seeing picture” of internet usage and generate valuable, deep data profiles of users.