Facebook owner Meta sued for selling personal data for ads
Facebook owner Meta has been sued in the high court after claims that it disregarded the right to object against the collection of personal data to sell to advertisers.
Human rights advocate Tanya O’Carroll alleges that the Silicon Valley giant has breached UK data laws by failing to respect her right to demand that it stop collecting and processing her data.
The claim document includes an extensive list of “ad interests” that Meta had assigned to O’Carroll between 2021 and 2022, including sexuality and politics.
“This case is really about us all being able to connect with social media on our own terms,” O’Carroll told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Although the case is being brought by an individual data subject against Facebook, a win could set a precedent for millions of users across all social media.
Facebook alone has around 3.5 billion users
The ultimate aim of the legal challenge is to push the company to offer an opt-out function to avoid data being passed on, enforcing the unqualified “right to object” under GDPR law.
“We shouldn’t have to give up every detail of our personal lives just to connect with friends and family online. The law gives us the right to take back control over our personal data and stop Facebook surveilling and tracking us,” O’Carroll said in her statement.
Internet users have had the “right to object” since the GDPR was adopted in the UK in 2018.
A Meta spokesperson said: “We know that privacy is important to our users and we take this seriously. That’s why we build tools like Privacy Check-up and Ads Preferences, where we explain what data people have shared and show how they can exercise control over the type of ads they see.”