83 Spanish newspapers are suing Meta for ‘massive use’ of users' personal data. Here's what you should know | Mint
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Business News/ Companies / News/  83 Spanish newspapers are suing Meta for ‘massive use’ of users' personal data. Here's what you should know
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83 Spanish newspapers are suing Meta for ‘massive use’ of users' personal data. Here's what you should know

Social media giant Meta is being sued by 83 Spanish newspapers over the unfair advantage obtained in the advertising space by the company owing to ‘systematic and massive' use of the personal data of users

FILE - The Meta logo is seen at the Vivatech show in Paris, June 14, 2023. A Spanish association representing more than 80 newspapers has filed a suit against Facebook parent company META for unfair competition in online advertising by allegedly ignoring European Union rules on data protection. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File) (AP)Premium
FILE - The Meta logo is seen at the Vivatech show in Paris, June 14, 2023. A Spanish association representing more than 80 newspapers has filed a suit against Facebook parent company META for unfair competition in online advertising by allegedly ignoring European Union rules on data protection. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File) (AP)

Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta is being sued by 83 Spanish media outlets over allegations that the social media giant breached EU data protection rules between 2018 and 2023, leading to unfair competition in the advertising market. The newspapers, led by media organisation AMI, claim that Meta's "massive" and "systematic" collection of users' personal data has given the company an 'illegitimately gained competitive advantage' in the design and delivery of personalised ads.

In a statement regarding the lawsuit, AMI said (as quoted by TechCrunch): “Meta has repeatedly failed to comply with (European Union) data protection legislation, ignoring the regulatory requirement that citizens must consent to the use of their data for advertising profiling, as can be seen from the different resolutions of the European authorities competent in this matter,"

“The systematic and massive use of personal data of users of Meta platforms, tracked without their consent throughout their digital browsing, would have allowed the American company to offer the sale of advertising space on the market based on an illegitimately obtained competitive advantage," the statement added.

AMI has filed a €550 million or $600 million lawsuit against Meta for violating the EU's General Data Protection Regulation, which came into force in May 2018 and requires all websites to obtain permission to store and use users' personal data, Reuters reported. The report noted that the Spanish lawsuit could soon be replicated in other European Union countries.

Speaking to Reuters, AMI lawyer Nicolas Gonzalez Cuellar also hinted at this possibility. He said: "Of course, in any other EU country, the same legal proceeding could be initiated" 

Earlier this year, Meta was fined €390 after EU data protection authorities said that signing a contract was not a valid legal reason for the company to track and target users with personalised ads, TechCrunch reported.

 

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Published: 05 Dec 2023, 09:21 AM IST
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