Meta-owned social media platform Facebook is facing a £3bn ($3.78bn) class action lawsuit in London regarding its use of user data. 

The claim has been brought to a UK court by Dr Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, a UK and EU competition law professor. She initially filed her case against Meta in 2023 but was refused.

Following a review, her accepted case states that Facebook took an “unfair bargain” with its user base regarding the circulation of their data. 

Legal documents state that Facebook users were forced to share their data with non-Meta companies if they signed up for an account.  

“Facebook requires users to give up off-Facebook data as a condition of accessing the Facebook platform, pursuant to a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ offer,” the document said. 

Because of this, the claim states that UK Facebook users have not been sufficiently compensated for the commercial value of their data and its monetisation by Meta. 

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Gormsen’s claim is seeking around £2.07bn–3.1bn in compensation for UK citizens who have had a Facebook account since 14 February 2016 and have used that account to access the site at least once since that date. 

Meta regularly faced legal troubles throughout 2023, including a $94.313 daily fine from Norway’s data protection agency after its complaint about Facebook’s use of behavioural advertising. 

Using user data to create targeted advertising is more profitable for social media companies because it increases the likelihood of user interaction with an advertiser. 

Due to social media companies’ use of user data, targeted advertising has come under tighter scrutiny from regulators around the world.