Facebook, 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 users.
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 alerted Facebook of the lawsuit.
People utilized facebook's services because it provided value to them, and "users have substantial control over what information they disclose on meta's platforms and with whom," according to facebook.
The case comes just days after Facebook lost its bid to have an antitrust lawsuit filed against it by the federal trade commission (FTC) dismissed, one of the most significant legal challenges by the US government against a tech company in decades as Washington tries to address big tech's market power.
"Facebook became the only social network in the UK where you could be sure to connect with friends and family in one place in the 17 years since it was formed," lovdahl gormsen said.
"However, Facebook had a bad side: it utilized its market dominance to force unfair terms and conditions on regular Britons, giving it the authority to exploit their personal data."
According to lovdahl , Facebook gathered data on its platform and through mechanisms such as the Facebook pixel, allowing it to create an "all-seeing picture" of internet usage and valuable, deep data profiles of consumers.
Opt-out class actions, such as the one brought by lovdahl gormsen, automatically bind a designated group to a lawsuit unless individuals are to opt-out.