British lawyer files billions claim against Meta

British lawyer Liza Lovdahl Gormsen has filed a mass claim against Meta, the parent company of Facebook. According to her, the social network has made a lot of money on the backs of users by serving them unfair terms of use. That is why she demands 2.3 billion pounds (converted 2.75 billion euros) from Meta.

The British newspaper The Guardian writes about the lawsuit that the lawyer has planned.

‘Facebook has exploited users’

Lovdahl Gormsen believes Meta has broken UK competition rules by charging users an ‘unfair price’ for Facebook. Members do not have to pay a subscription fee or membership to use the social network. Instead, they pay with their personal information. By collecting, processing and selling data to third parties on a large scale – also known as big data – Facebook has earned its money over the years.

“The social network has exploited users by appropriating their personal data without paying decent compensation,” said the British lawyer. She adds that Facebook had a “completely disproportionate” relationship with its users. She suspects that users didn’t realize how “unfair their deal with Facebook” was when they accepted the terms of use.

Advocate demands £2.3 billion on behalf of 44 million Facebook users

Lovdahl Gormsen has filed a mass claim at the Competition Appeal Tribunal in the capital London on behalf of 44 million British Facebook users. Anyone in the UK who used Facebook between October 2015 and December 2019 is part of the mass claim. Users who do not wish to participate in the lawsuit can opt-out through an opt-out mechanism. In total, the lawyer demands an amount of 2.3 billion pounds, which amounts to 2.75 billion euros.

Lovdahl Gormsen specializes in British competition law. The lawsuit is being funded by the Innsworth law firm. If the judge rules in favour of the lawyer, the law firm will receive a portion of the proceeds. Gormsen is represented by the lawyers of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. If the court gives the green light for the mass claim, the lawsuit will probably last six months to a year.

Meta has faith in a good ending

A spokesperson for Meta tells The Guardian that he has full confidence in a good outcome. “People have free access to our service. They choose our services because we deliver value to them and they have meaningful control over what information they share on Meta’s platforms and with whom. We have invested heavily to give users the tools and tools to create that make it happen.”

Dutch interest groups also demand compensation from Facebook

Not only in the United Kingdom are Meta and Facebook under fire. The Consumers’ Association and Data Privacy Foundation have been fighting against Mark Zuckerberg’s social network for years. They find it unacceptable that the platform has been collecting users’ private data for years and selling it to third parties, often administrators of large ad networks. Facebook has never explicitly asked for permission for this, which is not allowed under European privacy legislation. “Facebook thus enriched itself unjustifiably and at the expense of its users,” the interest groups said in the summer of 2020.

Facebook has made every effort to stop the lawsuit. In July 2021, the Amsterdam court ruled that the substantive treatment could continue. The Consumers’ Association and the Data Privacy Foundation want Facebook to compensate Dutch users for its working method. What amount of compensation the interest groups have in mind, they leave open.

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