Meta Sued In UK, Suit Alleges Personal Data Collected To Target Ads

Tanya O’Carroll, a technology and human rights activist, filed a suit at London’s High Court challenging Facebook’s “surveillance advertising,” despite all the work parent company Meta Platforms alleges it has done in the past several months to ensure user privacy.

The filing alleges that Meta Platforms' Facebook continues to harvest personal data for ad targeting, and insists that the company should stop this practice. A combination of data and advertising create the foundation of Facebook’s business model.

Facebook’s parent company, Meta, announced Monday it was updating its privacy defaults for teenagers age 16 and under, or 18 and under in certain countries, with automatic features for tightened privacy control. The company also tightened privacy restrictions on Instagram.

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When initially signing up to use the platforms, the age groups will be defaulted into more privacy settings.

Bloomberg reports that O’Carroll’s case attacking Meta’s business model “adds to a series of regulatory and legal risks for Meta in Europe, ranging from trans-Atlantic data flows to antitrust actions in Germany and the UK.” 

She argues that Facebook “violates general data protection regulations by processing and profiling her personal data that’s then tailored for the advertisements.”

Meta has built tools for privacy check-up and ad preferences similar to Google.

It also shared an update today on the work it is doing to stop the spread of images used to exploit teens online. Meta calls this “sextortion.”

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