Those affected by the Facebook data leak can now easily join a class action lawsuit against the company. The initiators are not only interested in compensating those affected, but also in making companies like Facebook more aware of their obligations to users.
Civil rights organization seeks class action
Through the data leak at Facebook, about 533 million users are affected, but the company does not seem to take it so seriously. So you could read the last few days that Facebook does not even want to inform those affected. Whereby this is nevertheless obligatory in the case of a data breach and an associated risk for those affected according to the General Data Protection Regulation. Facebook probably does not see a high risk for its users here, but that is just speculation.
The Irish civil rights organization Digital Rights Ireland (DRI) is therefore now seeking a class action lawsuit against Facebook. This lawsuit is then intended to compensate those affected by the data leak under the GDPR. The civil rights organization points out that affected EU citizens can also join the lawsuit. DRI further states on its website, “Compensation is not the only thing that makes it worth joining this mass action. It is important to send a message to large data processors that they must comply with the law and that they will incur costs if they do not.”
The legal basis for the class action by Digital Rights Ireland is Article 82 of the GDPR. This regulates liability and the right to compensation. According to Art. 82 GDPR, any person who has suffered material or non-material damage because of a breach of this regulation has a right to compensation from the controller, in this case Facebook is the controller.
How to participate in the class action?
Anyone who wants to join the class action lawsuit against Facebook must first check their phone number to see if it is affected by the data leak. The check can easily be done via the Have I Been Pwned (HIBP) page. Which, by the way, also works for email addresses if you want to check if it has been affected by a leak before.
If the number is part of the Facebook data leak, on the page of Digital Rights Ireland, the number, name and email address can be entered to participate in the class action.
Data Protection Authority investigation
The data protection authority in Ireland has already announced it will investigate the incident with Facebook, as its European headquarters are located there. However, accusations of filibustering are pending against the data protection authority there. Since several proceedings against Facebook are already pending, but none has been completed to date. And that is after almost three years since the GDPR came into force.