MONTREAL (CN) – Concerns about Facebook’s revised privacy settings has spread to Canada, in a class action in Quebec Superior Court. The class claims that Facebook subscribers own the information posted on their pages, and that Facebook “without proper communication” changed its terms of service to reveal its customers’ private information – even those who deleted their accounts.
“The petitioner, as with other users, is the owner of all the content and information posted on his Facebook.com account and said content and information cannot lawfully be appropriated by the respondent without the proper and informed consent of the petitioner and other users. Facebook converts and misappropriates said content and information for its benefit and gain,” says lead plaintiff Patrice St.-Arnaud.
Beginning in 2009, Facebook made its customers’ names, photos, friends, favorite Internet pages, favorite products and people, their genders, and other information publicly available, according to the complaint.
The class claims Facebook made money from its customers personal data by letting third parties us it for targeted advertising campaigns.
“The data collected from its users is the key commercial asset Facebook employs to sell advertising and drive traffic to the Facebook.com website,” the complaint states.
The class claims that Facebook should not be allowed to reap the economic benefits of its “unlawful conduct” without giving its customers a slice of the pie.
It is estimated that 48 percent of Canadians have a Facebook account. Similar class action lawsuits against Facebook have been filed in Toronto and Winnipeg.
St.-Arnaud is represented by Merchant Law Group.