Facebook could be sued by consumer groups, EU legal adviser says

BRUSSELS: Facebook could be sued by consumer groups for breach of privacy, an adviser to Europe’s highest court said on Thursday in a German online gambling case that could pave the way for similar action across the country. ‘EU.

The case began in 2012 and is one of many privacy and antitrust issues facing Facebook in Europe, where regulators have introduced legislation to limit the power of so-called tech giants and ensure more transparency.

“Member States can authorize consumer protection associations to initiate representative actions against breaches of personal data protection,” said Richard de la Tour, Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) , based in Luxembourg.

Such actions must be based on violations of rights derived directly from the GDPR, he added, referring to EU privacy rules adopted three years ago.

“We will analyze the opinion of the Advocate General. Legal clarity on the scope and process of GDPR is important and we are pleased that the Court of Justice of the European Union is considering the issues raised in this case. Said a spokesperson for Meta Platforms Inc.

The GDPR stipulates that any request for the collection of personal data must be subject to clear and informed consent.

De la Tour said consumer organizations that defend the collective interests of consumers are particularly suited to the GDPR’s goal of establishing a high level of personal data protection.

Facebook found itself in the dock after the Federation of German Consumer Organizations filed a complaint alleging that the social network allowed online game operators to inappropriately collect players’ personal data.

The games were offered on Facebook’s App Center in 2012. While playing the games, users automatically agreed to share personal data, including email addresses. At the end of the game, they would receive a message that the app could post their status, photos, and other information.

A lower German court had ruled in favor of the German federation, which led Facebook to appeal to a higher court, which then sought the opinion of the CJEU.

Facebook has since revamped its privacy settings.

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