Europe’s top adviser says that consumer groups should have the right to act against Facebook for violating consumer privacy. The issue started in 2012 and is one of several that has the social media giant in trouble. European regulators have been trying to curtail the power of companies like Facebook and ensure there is more transparency.
Consumer privacy is essential
Richard de la Tour believes that consumers’ rights should be represented in court cases by consumer protection groups. He is the advocate general at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). So, he believes that consumer protection groups can bring representative actions against infringements of GDPR. They must be based on infringements of rights derived directly from GDPR, he added.
Meta reacted, saying that it will analyze the opinion on the right of groups to act on issues regarding consumer privacy . Also, a spokesperson mentioned that “we’re glad the Court of Justice of the European Union is considering the questions raised in this case.”
Still, GDPR clearly states that any requests for personal data should come with clear and informed consent.
Germany brought the problem to the court
Facebook is in trouble after a lawsuit from the Federation of German Consumer Organisations. Thus, the Federation claims that Facebook allowed operators of games to improperly collect the personal data of gamers.
Facebook’s App Center offered games in 2012 and users had to share personal information including email addresses. But after every game, they would receive a message about how the app could share their information.
A German court ruled in favour of the German Federation, leading Facebook to appeal to a higher court. The higher court then sought advice from the CJEU. As a result, Facebook created more effective privacy settings with this new knowledge.
Moreover, recently, EU announced that new tech laws would soon go to the Parliament. They would bring even tougher rules for giants like Facebook.