Until now Facebook, and other online companies, have been helping themselves to your data before selling it on for advertising revenue. Now you can see some of that money.
A privacy campaign "Europe vs Facebook" has begun to make sure Facebook is doing the right thing with its users' data. While the lawsuit will aim to claim damages of €500 for everyone involved, the main purpose is to improve the rules of online data privacy and distribution.
The campaign has over 11,000 participants so far. The aim is to make the case financially threatening enough for Facebook to take action on creating rules that govern data use better. The claimed unlawful acts of Facebook include:
- Data use policy which is invalid under EU law
- The absence of effective consent to many types of data use
- Support of the NSA’s ‘PRISM’ surveillance programme
- Tracking of Internet users on external websites (e.g. through ‘Like buttons’)
- Monitoring and analysis of users through ‘big data’ systems
- Unlawful introduction of ‘Graph Search’
- Unauthorised passing on of user data to external applications
Max Schrems, lawyer and activist says: "We are only claiming a small amount, as our primary objective is to ensure correct data protection. However, if many thousands of people participate we would reach an amount that will have a serious impact on Facebook."
The case is open to anyone in Europe. More specifically it's not able to incorporate US and Canadian citizens owing to variations in laws.
If you wish to sign up you'll need to give details including your address, telephone number and a photo ID. It might feel invasive to share these details but bare in mind you’re probably sharing far more than that with less savoury sorts via Facebook everyday already. And you may end up getting paid for it.