Facebook is facing a class-action lawsuit in Europe over the massive leak of user data that dates back to 2019 but only recently emerged after finding information on more than 533 million accounts available for free download via a hacker forum.
And theAnnounced Digital Rights Ireland Group has launched a class action lawsuit to prosecute Facebook, citing the right to monetary compensation for personal data breaches set forth in the GDPR of the European Union.
Article 82 of the General Data Protection Regulation provides for the right to compensation for those affected by violations of the law.
Related civil cases have increased in the region since the regulation went into effect in May 2018.
The Ireland-based group is urging Facebook users who live in the European Union or the European Economic Area to check if their data has been compromised and register to join the case.
The information leaked through the breach includes Facebook IDs, website, phone numbers, email address, relationship status and employer.
A Facebook spokesperson said: We understand people’s concerns, which is why we continue to strengthen our systems to make the process of collecting data from Facebook without our permission more difficult and to pursue the people behind it.
He added: As demonstrated by LinkedIn and Clubhouse, no company can completely eliminate this practice or prevent data from appearing, which is why we are dedicating significant resources to combating it and continuing to build our capabilities to help stay ahead of this challenge.
Facebook’s European headquarters is in Ireland, and the Irish Data Protection Commission earlier this week opened an investigation under European Union data protection laws.
Digital Rights Ireland said: Compensation is not the only thing that makes this collective action worth joining, and it is important to send a message to the big data controllers that they must comply with the law and that there is a cost to be paid if they do not.
The group also filed a complaint about Facebook abuse with the Irish Data Protection Commission earlier this month, writing at the time: It is also consulting its legal advisers on other options, including a collective remedies action in Irish courts.
The group’s focus is on seeking to ensure that digital rights are upheld, and it believes that compensation claims forcing tech giants to pay users whose privacy rights have been violated is the best way to get them compliant with the law.