Wednesday 25 November 2020

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.’

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.