Facebook Class Action #MyDataIsMine #NotYourPuppets

Early 2018: the Cambridge Analytica Scandal breaks lose as it was revealed that the data of millions of Facebook users was shared with a third party enabling him to profile consumers and target them with, in this case political, adds

However, in a very quick way it became clear that Cambridge Analytica wasn’t an isolated case, but merely a tip of the iceberg and an indication of a general Facebook business practice.

Since the very beginning of this data scandal Euroconsumers has held Facebook to its responsibility, sending the social network organisation a formal warning with some very clear demands on behalf of the more than one and a half million consumers it represents: How is Facebook going to compensate the victims of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and all other consumers whose data have been misused by the social network platform? How will Facebook make sure this doesn’t happen again and put consumers back in the driving seat of their data?

These demands were also strongly defended during the meeting of Euroconsumers with Facebook on 11th April 2018 and relaunched ahead of the hearing of Mark Zuckerberg in the European Parliament. Unfortunately the answers we received were not at all satisfying. Although Facebook does admit that “personal user information has been improperly shared”, it’s very clear that they have no intention at all of compensating consumers for the misuse of their data. All consumers get is merely an apology!

That just won’t do it. Consumers deserve more respect and acknowledgement of their central role in the data economy, as was clearly expressed in Euroconsumer’s “My Data is Mine” manifesto. That’s why Euroconsumers started a class action in Belgium, Italy, Spain and Portugal against Facebook, asking a compensation of at least 200 euro for all Facebook users for the misuse of their data. So far almost 250.000 consumers registered to join the action.

It should be clear that the data Facebook uses, belong to the consumers, and only to them. Therefore consumers must at all time have control over their data, know exactly for what purpose this is used, and should get a fair part of the value created by the companies using their data. And when consumers are cheated they should be compensated. It’s as clear as that! #MyDataIsMine #NotYourPuppets

Update on 28 May 2021: Joint Press Release with Facebook