Facebook in the UK is being sued for billions of pounds amid claims more than 44 million users had their data exploited.
Competition law expert Dr Liza Lovdahl Gormsen has launched the class-action lawsuit against Facebook’s parent firm, Meta, at the Competition Appeal Tribunal, accusing the technology giant of abusing its market dominance, and seeking a minimum of £2.3 billion in damages.
The legal action argues the social networking site used its market dominance to force users to agree to terms and conditions which allowed it to generate billions in revenue from their data – while users received no monetary returns.
Facebook collected data both within its own platform and outside, using mechanisms such as Facebook Pixel – an advertising tool that can be used by third-party websites to monitor how users act on their site – the action argues.
The claim labels this an “unfair deal”.
It is the first legal action of its kind against Meta in the UK and seeks financial compensation for Facebook users in the UK between 1 October 2015 and 31 December 2019, which is believed to be more than 44 million people.
Dr Lovdahl Gormsen said: “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.
“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.
“I’m launching this case to secure billions of pounds of damages for the 44 million Britons who had their data exploited by Facebook.”
In response, a Meta spokesman said: “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.
“We have invested heavily to create tools that allow them to do so.”