Facebook (FB.O), now known as Meta Platforms, is facing a class-action lawsuit in the United Kingdom over charges that it exploited its market dominance by exploiting the personal data of 44 million members.
Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, a competition law academic and senior adviser to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said she was initiating the case on behalf of consumers in the UK who used Facebook between 2015 and 2019.
The case claims that Facebook made billions of pounds by imposing unreasonable terms and conditions that required users to submit valuable personal data in order to access the network. It will be heard by London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal.
The law firm representing Lovdahl Gormsen, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, has informed Facebook of the situation.
Facebook said people used its services because it delivered value for them and “they have meaningful control of what information they share on Meta’s platforms and who with.”
“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.”
Lovdahl Gormsen alleges Facebook collected data within its platform and through mechanisms like the Facebook Pixel, allowing it to build an “all-seeing picture” of Internet usage and generate valuable, deep data profiles of users.
Opt-out class actions, like Lovdahl Gormsen’s, bind a defined group automatically into a lawsuit unless individuals were opt-out.