Facebook In Trouble Again, Faces Major Legal Action Over 2019 Data Leak

Source: Camilo Concha, Shutterstock

Summary

  • Digital Rights Ireland(DRI), a digital rights advocacy agency, has announced that it will be initiating a “mass action” to sue Facebook over the massive user data breach of 2019.
  • User information of about 533 million accounts was recently discovered on a hacker platform, available for free download.
  • The leaked information included users’ Facebook IDs, locations, employer names, email IDs, relationship statuses and, in some cases, even personal phone numbers.

Social media giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is facing a major lawsuit in Europe over a case of user data leak, media reports said on Friday, April 2016.

Digital Rights Ireland (DRI), a digital rights advocacy agency, has announced that it will be initiating a “mass action” to sue Facebook over the massive user data breach of 2019.

The data leak was unearthed in 2019 and was reportedly fixed. But recently, user information of about 533 million accounts was discovered on a hacker platform, available for free download.

The leaked information included users’ Facebook IDs, locations, employer names, email IDs, relationship statuses and, in some cases, even personal phone numbers.

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What the Digital Rights Group Claims Against Facebook?


While Facebook has denied any wrongdoing, the DRI is reportedly gearing up to take the case to court in Ireland on behalf of those affected by the breach.

DRI Director Antoin Ó Lachtnain said that this case against Facebook will be the “first mass action” of this sort but it will not be the last, hinting at the possibility of other tech giants coming under its radar.

Mr Lachtnain described the massive data breach as “gob-smacking" and noted that tech giants should realize that the protection of user information is a matter to be “taken seriously."

DRI has claimed that the Silicon Valley-based technology juggernaut not only failed to protect the personal data of its users, but also failed to inform those affected about the breach.

The Irish Data Protection Commission said on Thursday, April 16, that it will be launching an investigation into the data breach and see if Facebook had flouted the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or Data Protection Act of 2018.

As per Article 82 of the GDPR, people who are impacted by the violations of this law have a ‘right to compensation and liability’.

The DRI is urging individuals in the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area to check and see if they were affected by the data breach and, if so, to come forward and take legal action against the Mark Zuckerberg-led franchise.

The digital advocacy group is said to have added that affected users who come forward to sue Facebook could be entitled to a compensation of up to €12,000 (£10,445).


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