UK GROUP THREATENS TO SUE FACEBOOK OVER CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA
Source: Wired, written by Issie Lapowsky
31 July 2018
LAWYERS FOR A group of UK residents whose Facebook data was harvested by Cambridge Analytica are now threatening to sue for damages. In a 27-page letter served to the company Tuesday, they accuse Facebook of violating British data privacy regulations. The letter before claim, as it's called, is the first step in the UK's legal process for filing a class action suit. It warns Facebook that if it does not adequately respond to a list of questions regarding user privacy within 14 days, the claimants may take legal action against the company in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Nearly 1.1 million British citizens could be eligible to join such a suit if it goes forward.
The warning comes from the UK-based law firm Irvine Thanvi Natas Solicitors, which is representing dozens of people who argue that Facebook misused their personal data in violation of UK law. It follows an announcement Monday by separate group, called the Fair Vote Project, that is also launching a class action suit against Facebook in the UK.
The UK Information Commissioner’s Office already said earlier this month that it intends to fine Facebook more than $600,000 under the country's Data Protection Act for allowing Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct political consulting firm, to collect information on tens of millions of users without their knowledge. But Ravi Naik, a lawyer with Irvine Thanvi Natas Solicitors, says the individuals affected also have a right to answers, and may have a right to damages if those answers aren’t satisfactory.
"People should realize that data rights are real rights, and we have a mechanism to enforce them," Naik says.