The Fair Vote Project prepares a class-action claim against Facebook over its misuse of data that may have been used to manipulate UK and global elections
The Fair Vote Project has been contacted by some of the 1.1 million people whose Facebook data was harvested by the “This Is Digital Life” app created by Aleksandr Kogan and subsequently passed on to Cambridge Analytica, at which point it is unclear how this data may have been used and potentially misused.
All individuals and companies involved have deliberately obfuscated on the question of how exactly this data has been used though evidence brought forward by whistleblowers suggests it was used to manipulate voters.
Some people may have consented to having their data taken but most did not, as the app “scraped” the data of Facebook friends of those who downloaded the app without their knowledge.
The Fair Vote Project is preparing a damages claim for breaches of the data protection act and they will be running adverts on Facebook asking users who had their data taken to join the class action claim. If successful, Facebook could face damages in the billions of pounds.
Kyle Taylor, Director of The Fair Vote Project said “A few weeks ago, I found out that I was one of the 1,079,031 people in the UK whose data was harvested by Aleksandr Kogan’s This Is Your Digital Life app, and subsequently passed on to Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook had no right to give away this data. If your data was taken in this way, you could be a claimant. Facebook is the data controller of the data you have on Facebook and they effectively allowed it to be transferred to a third party without your knowledge or consent. This is wrong and shouldn’t go unpunished.
The implications of this data being handed to third parties are in no way minor and may have changed the course of elections around the world.
We also very worryingly still do not know the extent of data taken or exactly what is was used for. There is absolutely no indication that Facebook has taken this issue seriously, as we see – right now – voter manipulation has been happening in Ireland using Facebook, which they just recently have taken action regarding. It’s quite late in the game for them to finally apply the measures we know we needed since the revelations brought forward by whistleblowers.
If Facebook won’t take it seriously and if governments aren’t moving quickly enough then it’s up to us to hold these companies to account.”
PS – The Fair Vote Project is working with Bindmans LLP to gather claimants. Every pound we raise will be used to find more claimants and cover legal costs. We are using digital ads to find claimants. If you have seen one of these ads, you fit one of the following categories: you studied policy studies, political science, public policy, or you have expressed interest in activism, civil service, electoral reform, equal opportunity, feminism and equality, government, local government, policy, political science, public policy, public sector, social equality, social movements, or voting.