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posted by hubie on Wednesday February 21, @06:57AM   Printer-friendly
from the it-ain't-over-until-there's-a-Zuckerberg-apology dept.

Facebook £3bn legal action given go-ahead in London:

A judge has given the go-ahead to a mass legal action against Facebook owner Meta, potentially worth £3bn.

The case is being brought by legal academic Dr Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, on behalf of 45 million Facebook users.

Her original claim was refused, in 2023, but a revised version has now been accepted, with early 2026 said to be the latest it could be heard.

Meta said the claims "remain entirely without merit and we will vigorously defend against them".

The new claim says: "Facebook has struck an unfair bargain with its users," according to legal documents.

Facebook abused its dominance by making users give it their data from non-Facebook products, including Meta-owned Instagram and other third-party sites.

And sharing data with third parties had become "a condition of accessing the Facebook platform, pursuant to a 'take-it-or-leave-it' offer".

[...] Meta said the "fundamental concerns identified by the tribunal in its February 2023 judgement have not been resolved".

It was "committed to giving people meaningful control" of the information they shared on its platforms and to "invest heavily to create tools that allow them to do so."

The legal action is being funded by Innsworth, a company backed by an investment management fund, which has also funded mass legal actions against Mastercard, Ericsson and Volkswagen.


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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 21, @08:37AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 21, @08:37AM (#1345471)
    I'd say it's abuse if they significantly try to force you to make your lies consistent. e.g. they threaten to disable your account(s) if your birthdates aren't the same.

    Otherwise, I don't care, store as much of my fake data as you can.

    Don't be like those children who want to use certain sites but can't because they keep clicking on the "below 18" button or giving their actual birth date.
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 21, @12:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 21, @12:38PM (#1345485)

      Apropos of nothing in particular

      There once was a UK site where you could, if you were so inclined, get in touch with the people you were once at school with. At the time it launched, yr humble scribe was a sysadmin, with added postmaster@ duties, and it was in that role I first became aware of said site as my spam filter started 'quarantining' contact emails from their domain based on their content...I had to put in a general exemption for their domain from filtering - far be it for me to spoil the PHBs fun by blocking his old school flames from contacting him, wanting to hook up again.

      I looked into the site, got a strong 'Danger Will Robinson' vibe about the scope and nature of the data they were collecting, didn't trust the buggers or their setup, so created a fake account on their site - bogus name, bogus DOB, but listing the real schools I attended as a callow youth and had set up a spamtrap bogus.name@domain to use as the contact email, set up a number of specific filter rules for that email address then sat back and monitored.

      Around the second month the spamtrap account received a rather interesting email - informing me that I was an imposter, and no-one of that name or date of birth ever attended any of those schools.

      I merrily responded that even though I had indeed attended the schools in question, they were factually correct about the name and DOB I used being bogus, and whilst I knew this to be the case, being their creator, could they please explain to me how exactly they knew?

      That was decades ago, I'm still waiting for an answer to that one.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Nuke on Wednesday February 21, @11:38AM (1 child)

    by Nuke (3162) on Wednesday February 21, @11:38AM (#1345480)

    This is going to be a lose-lose scenario. I've got popcorn and I'm loving it.

    • (Score: 4, Touché) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Wednesday February 21, @04:44PM

      by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Wednesday February 21, @04:44PM (#1345506)

      Nah... Someone will win big time: the attorneys involved, like the big fat leeches they are.

  • (Score: 2) by GloomMower on Wednesday February 21, @03:56PM (1 child)

    by GloomMower (17961) on Wednesday February 21, @03:56PM (#1345501)

    > The legal action is being funded by Innsworth, a company backed by an investment management fund, which has also funded mass legal actions against Mastercard, Ericsson and Volkswagen.

    Anyone know, do they short companies then sue them? Is that legal? Win if they lose, extra win if they win?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Nuke on Wednesday February 21, @06:08PM

      by Nuke (3162) on Wednesday February 21, @06:08PM (#1345513)

      The investment company is taking a measured gamble. If the plaintif wins, they get a cut; if they lose they must pay the lawyers.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Wednesday February 21, @04:34PM (2 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Wednesday February 21, @04:34PM (#1345505)

    They're not like Microsoft or Google: if you don't like being abused, it's entirely possibly to never interact with a single Facebook server and keep living a normal life.

    So I'd say the onus is on the "victims" to stop accepting being victims in this case.

    • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Wednesday February 21, @09:46PM (1 child)

      by Mykl (1112) on Wednesday February 21, @09:46PM (#1345541)

      One caveat. While I have never opened a Facebook account, I do have to have WhatsApp for a number of community activities that I am involved in (e.g. volunteering in Scouts). I really hate having to keep that App and would much prefer everyone switch to Signal, but my choice of not being on WhatsApp also equals a choice to no longer be a part of those communities either.

      No, I don't share my phone's contact list with WhatsApp, and it doesn't have access to my phone's files (photos etc).

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Thursday February 22, @02:53AM

        by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Thursday February 22, @02:53AM (#1345592)

        I do have to have WhatsApp for a number of community activities that I am involved in (e.g. volunteering in Scouts).

        No you don't. That's my point.

        You use WhatsApp because it's convenient. If it truly didn't sit right with you, you'd choose not to partake: either you'd convince your fellow scouts to email you instead, or you'd leave the scouts altogether. Of course I understand you don't want to do that. But ultimately it's your choice: you choose to prioritize conforming to the scouts' requirements over your unease of using WhatsApp.

        It's very different from Google, which is essentially unavoidable for things like interacting with state services or getting health care in most countries, Microsoft if you need to work in many companies, or any cloud provider that your country probably chooses to give your most personal information to without your consent.

        Here, you're talking about a fully voluntary activity you take part in that you could do without or differently without major legal or financial imparct on your life.

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