Facebook data breach mass action

Digital Rights Ireland are taking a “mass action” lawsuit against Facebook. They will represent users who have been affected by the 3 April 2021 release of computer files containing personal details of 533 million Facebook users. The personal details released for free online included names, phone numbers, email addresses, location data and biographical information. Facebook has said the information was scraped by “malicious actors.” But Digital Rights Ireland claim the information could only be accessed because Facebook had made it available to potential advertisers for them to use for targeted advertising.

Digital Rights Ireland believe that a positive ruling could result in potentially billions of dollars in damages for Facebook to pay. They hope that this makes the risk of continuing with standard data collection practices so large that Facebook is actively incentivised to build in “privacy by design” and “by default” as a way of managing its financial and reputational risk.

Facebook data breach mass action

Organisation Name

Digital Rights Ireland

Country/Jurisdiction

Ireland

Thematic Areas

Privacy and data protection, human rights standards in the use and design of technology

Current Status

Ongoing

Grant type

Single Instance Litigation Support

Description

Digital Rights Ireland are taking a “mass action” lawsuit against Facebook. They will represent users who have been affected by the 3 April 2021 release of computer files containing personal details of 533 million Facebook users. The personal details released for free online included names, phone numbers, email addresses, location data and biographical information. Facebook has said the information was scraped by “malicious actors.” But Digital Rights Ireland claim the information could only be accessed because Facebook had made it available to potential advertisers for them to use for targeted advertising.

Digital Rights Ireland believe that a positive ruling could result in potentially billions of dollars in damages for Facebook to pay. They hope that this makes the risk of continuing with standard data collection practices so large that Facebook is actively incentivised to build in “privacy by design” and “by default” as a way of managing its financial and reputational risk.

"They will represent users who have been affected by the 3 April 2021 release of computer files containing personal details of 533 million Facebook users"

Strategic Goal

To encourage data holders like Facebook, who hold significant amounts of personal data on individuals, to comply with their legal responsibilities (particularly around data security) in accordance with GDPR, under credible threat of significant financial penalties.

Organisation Name

Women’s Link Worldwide

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