Hayes Connor preparing for group action against Facebook

Data protection compensation

Social media giant Facebook, controversial data firm Cambridge Analytica, and two other companies are facing legal action from thousands of people in the UK. And, as expert data breach solicitors, here at Hayes Connor we are preparing to launch a group action once the relevant investigations are complete.

What happened?

Cambridge Analytica and tech giant Facebook are at the centre of a dispute over the harvesting and use of personal data – and whether it was used to influence the outcome of the US 2016 presidential election, or, more relevantly in the UK, the Brexit referendum.

The data analytics firm is accused of harvesting the data of over 70 million Facebook users worldwide without permission and failing to delete it when told to. Making matters worse, while Facebook found out about the breach in 2015, the social media giant failed to alert its users, and did not take adequate steps to recover and secure the private information.

As well as Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, SCL Group Limited and Global Science Research Limited (GSR) are also facing legal action.

What’s next?

What’s emerged so far is looking increasingly like just the tip of the iceberg. We could be talking about one of the largest ever group actions of its kind in the UK courts so it’s no wonder that we have received enquiries from hundreds of concerned Facebook users in the UK already.

Hayes Connor solicitors has appointed Barrister Ian Whitehurst to help in this case. Having developed a practice in the field of data breach claims for individuals and companies who have had their personal and sensitive data breached by third parties, we are confident that together our team will get the results our clients deserve.

Why launch a group action?

A group action is undoubtedly the best way forward for data breach claims of this nature. It allows people with the same type of claim in principle to bring it together on a collective basis to strengthen their overall position and increase their chances of settlement or success in litigation.

What’s more, with a group action claimants often share the legal fees. Even better, while the cost of pursuing small claims can be a barrier to justice, by grouping cases together, solicitors are often able to run group actions on a on a no win-no fee basis.

What should you do now?

For anyone worried that their details have been exposed by the Facebook data breach, there are a few simple steps they can follow.

  1. Start by checking the apps you have enabled through Facebook. To do this, go to settings and click ‘Apps’ on the left sidebar. Make a list of the app that have/had access to your Facebook account and note down why you are concerned about them.
  2. Next, look out for a notification from Facebook. The social media giant has promised to inform users if their data was accessed by any apps that might have misused it. You should also set out why you think your data has been breached. For example, have you been targeted on Facebook by any political parties or causes that you are not affiliated with?
  3. It is also important to inform the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) about your concerns. At present the ICO is undertaking an investigation into the activities of Facebook and the retention, sharing and distribution of data illegally in the UK.
  4. Finally, contact Hayes Connor Solicitors ASAP. We’ll ensure that you are fully informed on this matter and will notify you about the investigation and your legal rights when making a claim.

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