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Consumentenbond: ‘Facebook must compensate users’

Nieuws|Facebook must compensate its users in the Netherlands for violating their privacy. That is what Consumentenbond and the Data Privacy Stichting (“DPS”) believe. These two entities have joined forces to compel Facebook to compensate its users. In collaboration with Consumentenbond, DPS has filed a writ in Dutch court against Facebook. Consumentenbond calls on consumers to join the action.

Gerard Spierenburg

Gerard Spierenburg , Woordvoerder Gepubliceerd op:7 juli 2020

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Consumentenbond and DPS accuse Facebook of collecting private data from its users and their Facebook friends for years, while making the data accessible to third parties without users’ permission. The company made a lot of revenue doing this. Facebook users were also misled: the platform falsely promised that using Facebook would always be free, when in fact users ultimately "paid" with their data, with which Facebook unjustly enriched itself at users’ expense.

Collecting data

Facebook collects a substantial amount of data about the intimate details of its users’ lives. This includes not only users’ gender, age, and place of residence, but how users communicate and share information with their friends. In addition, Facebook collects information about which apps its users visit, and follows their web surfing behavior outside the platform. Facebook shared this highly personal information with third-party app developers. Facebook did this not only for those who used these third-party apps themselves, but also for those users’ Facebook friends who did not use—and in many cases were surely unaware of—data sharing with the apps.

Get involved

Consumentenbond, together with DPS, is committed to obtaining compensation for all Facebook users in the Netherlands and calls on consumers to register. Registration is an expression of support for Consumentenbond and DPS’s action against Facebook.

Unclear privacy policy

Sandra Molenaar, director of Consumentenbond explains: 'Facebook collected data on a large scale from users that they considered private. They did not know that Facebook passed that information on to third parties. Facebook's privacy policy was insufficiently clear, inconsistent and unnecessarily difficult.'

Financial compensation alone does not mean that Facebook can continue on the same footing, Molenaar warns. Says Molenaar, 'There must be an end to this kind of privacy violation. And Facebook must now be crystal clear in its communication to users. They must have full control over their data.'

Click here for Dutch version