Meta, the parent company of social media platform Facebook, is facing a lawsuit in the UK that accused the tech giant of collecting the personal data of users in order to create targeted advertisements. Human rights campaigner Tanya O’Carroll has alleged in the suit that Meta has violated UK data laws by not agreeing to her prior request regarding the use of her data. According to The Guardian, she requested the company to stop collecting her data when she uses the application.
“This case is really about us all being able to connect with social media on our own terms, and without having to essentially accept that we should be subjected to hugely invasive tracking surveillance profiling just to be able to access social media,” O’Carroll told BBC in a radio interview.
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“With this case, I’m really using this right that’s long been there on the law books, but has been up until now not been exercised, which is to simply say ‘I object’, and if we are successful in that then everybody will have that right,” she added when asked about the details of the lawsuit against Meta.
According to 21 (2) of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), any UK citizen is entitled to protest against the processing of his/her data for advertising purposes. O’Carroll, who is a part of the UK legal campaign group Foxglove, accused Meta of violating the provision and said that a win in the lawsuit will serve as a precedent for a number of such cases filed all around the world.
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“We know that privacy is important to our users and we take this seriously. That’s why we build tools like privacy check-up and ads preferences, where we explain what data people have shared and show how they can exercise control over the type of ads they see,” Meta said in an official statement.