Tuesday 06 December 2022

30,000 Facebook users join mass compensation claim for breach of privacy

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Around 30,000 people have joined a mass claim against Facebook for allegedly breaching Dutch privacy law.

Consumer organisation Consumentenbond and data privacy protection association DPS say the social media giant has been collecting users’ private data without their consent for years and making it available to third parties.

Though Facebook claims to be a free service, it effectively makes users ‘pay’ with their data, such as their gender, age and place of residence, as well as information they share with friends, the organisations said.

‘Facebook has been collecting user data on a large scale. Users did not know that this information, which they considered private, was made available to advertisers and app makers. Facebook’s privacy policy regarding this is unclear, inconsistent and unnecessarily complicated,’ Consumentenbond director Sandra Molenaar said.

Some 30,000 claimants had joined the organisations by midday on Tuesday following a public appeal by the Consumentenbond. ‘The speed and number of the reactions are  unprecedented,’ spokesperson Gerard Spierenburg told broadcaster NOS. There are approximately 10 million Facebook users in the Netherlands.

Facebook said in a statement to news website NU. nl that it takes privacy issues ‘very seriously’ and ‘every effort has been made to comply with privacy regulations, among which the clarification of our policy and easy accessibility of our privacy settings.’

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