Human rights activists are suing Meta in the UK High Court. This is a case that could seriously impact other social media sites and search engines.
Since 2018, when the GDPR (EU General Data Protection Regulation) was adopted in the UK, internet users have the right to request deletion of their personal data.
But Tanya O’Carroll, a senior fellow at active law firm Foxglove, said Meta refused to stop collecting and processing personal data for advertising targeting purposes, saying that the UK The lawsuit alleges that it violated the data law of
“We shouldn’t have to give them all the details of our personal lives just to connect with friends and family online,” she says.
“The law gives us the right to take back our sovereignty over our personal data and stop Facebook from monitoring and tracking us.”
By this time in 2021, Meta has announced that it will no longer collect sensitive personal data from its customers, such as health status, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs.
But between June and October, O’Carroll said the company assigned her many “sensitive ads” on politics, relationships and psychological issues.
She said she wasn’t asking for damages, but simply for legal clarity.
The lawsuit is funded by Luminate, a foundation to combat digital threats to democracy.
“The lawsuit we are funding challenges Facebook’s requirement that users must accept personalized ads as a condition of using its service. It is the fact that you have the right to choose to use social media to connect with family and friends, access information and use our services without being harassed,” the statement said.
“This lawsuit is brought by individuals in the UK, but if successful, search engines and social media in the UK, EU and around the world have been forced to accept invasive surveillance and profiling as part of their online experience. The
UK’s competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority, said in a 2020 report that Facebook “by default sets a precedent for people to use its services.” , are induced to provide data,” he concluded. This included a requirement that users “accept personalized advertising as a condition of using the service.”
“We know privacy is important to our users and we take it seriously,” said a Facebook advertiser.
“That’s why we built tools like privacy checks and ad settings to explain what data people share with us and how they can control the types of ads they see. I’m showing you.”
But this wasn’t enough for O’Carroll. Her complaint is about the right to take down, which Meta has yet to specifically address.
“This case demonstrates that Meta is breaking the law by denying my objection request. We all object to the use of personal data for direct marketing under the GDPR. but the company is desperate to create a legal argument why this shouldn’t apply to them,” she said.
“If we win, anyone across Europe will be able to exercise their right to object, and it will be an important step in bringing back social media for people, not profit.”