spent A court in Amsterdam can proceed with a privacy lawsuit brought against Facebook by two non-profit organizations in the Netherlands. The case is being considered in October.
Since 2019, the Amsterdam-based data privacy organization DPS has been seeking to sue Facebook for its collection of internet users’ data on the grounds that it has no proper legal basis for the processing.
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It was joined by the Dutch non-profit consumer protection organization Consumentenbond.
The two organizations are seeking to compensate Facebook users in the Netherlands for violations of privacy rights by filing a compensation suit for individuals, and asking Facebook to end anti-privacy practices.
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EU law allows for collective compensation across a number of areas, including data protection rights, enabling eligible entities to take representative actions on behalf of rights holders.
This ruling appears to be an increasingly important tool for advancing privacy enforcement in the bloc. This is given that European data protection regulators still lack the unified force in upholding the rights enshrined in legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation. Which has not yet been seriously implemented against platform giants such as Facebook, although it came into force in 2018.
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Facebook denies any abuse and claims that it respects user privacy and provides people with control over how their data is used.
Facebook accused of violating privacy
A company spokesperson said: We are currently reviewing the court’s decision. The ruling was on the procedural part of the case, not on the merits of the case. We continue to defend our position in court. We care about our users in the Netherlands, and protecting their privacy is important to us.
“We design products to help people communicate while respecting privacy choices,” he added. Users have control over the data they share on Facebook. We provide transparency about how their data is used. We provide tools for people to access, download, and delete their information. We are committed to the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation.
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The two organizations are urging Facebook users in the Netherlands to sign up to be part of the representative measure, which has now involved more than 185,000 people.
The lawsuit argues that Facebook users pay for the free service with their data – arguing that the tech giant has no valid legal basis for processing people’s information because it has not provided users with comprehensive information about the data it collects, nor what it does with it.
As a result, the argument is at its core about Facebook’s tracking violation and targeting of EU privacy law.