Facebook is being sued over its misuse of data during the Cambridge Analytica breach, opening the social media firm up to further fines for its role in the scandal.
A group action lawsuit representing 1m users in England and Wales was filed today to gain “redress and compensation for the persistent mass misuse of personal data”.
Facebook became embroiled in a scandal in 2018 after it emerged that data belonging to 87m users had been harvested by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica without their consent.
The tech giant has faced a string of class action lawsuits from affected users in countries around the world.
But the latest suit, brought by human rights campaigner Alvin Carpio, is the largest to date, covering almost all the 1.1m users thought to have been affected in the UK.
It alleges that by taking data without consent, Facebook failed to meet its legal obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998.
“We have not received any documents regarding this claim,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
“The Information Commissioner’s Office investigation into these issues, which included seizing and interrogating Cambridge Analytica’s servers, found no evidence that any UK or EU users’ data was transferred by Dr Kogan to Cambridge Analytica.”
Facebook was handed a £500,000 fine by the British data watchdog in 2019 for its role in the scandal.
But the lawsuit branded this a “comically insignificant amount” compared to Facebook’s 2019 revenue of more than $70bn.
It added that none of the fine, handed down by the Information Commissioner’s Office, was paid to users.
“When we use Facebook, we expect that our personal data is being used responsibly, transparently, and legally,” said Alvin Carpio, the representative claimant against Facebook.
“By failing to protect our personal information from abuse, we believe that Facebook broke the law.”
The group action suit, dubbed Facebook You Owe Us, is being led by law firm Milberg London and supported by former Which executive director Richard Lloyd.
It follows a similar suit filed against Google over data misuse, which is set to be heard before the Supreme Court in April next year.