British FCA brings challenge against Meta, formerly Facebook


Today Reuters is reporting Meta, formerly Facebook, faces a $3.2 billion class action suit in Britain based on a combination of two major concerns from regulators and consumer advocates.


The company, Kirstin Ridley reports, is accused of using its market dominance to abuse customer privacy.


“(A challenger) alleges Facebook(/Meta) collected data within its platform and through mechanisms like the Facebook Pixel, allowing it to build an ‘all-seeing picture’ of Internet usage and generate valuable, deep data profiles of users,” Ridley writes.


The case, brought by England’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), covers use of the site from 2015 to 2019.


It will now go before London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal, a body which “listens and give judgements on appeals of competition or regulatory issues” according to domestic sources.


In response, according to Ridley’s reporting, Facebook/Meta spokespersons said that “(users) have meaningful control of what information they share on Meta’s platforms and who with.”


Just a couple of weeks ago, we reported on other regulatory activity against Facebook/Meta in France.


It appears the sentiment, in some form, has crossed the channel, and now the company will have to defend itself in the UK.


At the same time, stateside, the game of whack-a-mole that Facebook/Meta is playing with the FTC is getting harder to win.


Last summer, we reported on how Facebook/Meta was able to get a judge to throw out an antitrust challenge from the agency.


Days ago, we learned that a refiling brought a similar effort from Facebook, but this time the judge didn’t bite.


So the FTC activity goes forward as Facebook also reviews its legal challenge in London.


Could the name change be, in the end, an omen for a company that’s getting a lot of scrutiny and heat for its business practices?


Take this into account as you manage your technology portfolio.