[PRESS RELEASE] THE INTERNET SOCIETY FRANCE, THROUGH ITS INITIATIVE E-BASTILLE, LAUNCHES THE FIRST JUDICIAL CLASS ACTION AGAINST FACEBOOK AND DEMANDS 100 MILLION EUROS

· The NGO, which defends the rights of Internet users, formally demands that Facebook explain 7 failures in the respect of personal data.

· Social networks Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp are concerned.

· The NGO will claim 100 million euros in damages from Facebook.


Paris, November 9, 2018 — On November 8, the Internet Society France launched the first judicial class action for compensation since the entry into force on May 25, 2018 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). ThIs regulation requires compliance by Internet players in respecting the individual freedoms of citizens, and in particular, requires respect for their personal data.

The E-Bastille initiative, launched in late 2017, encourages European citizens to take charge of their digital destiny. The Internet Society France sent to Facebook on November 8 a formal notice prepared with lawyers, researchers and users, based on serious work of observation and collection of complaints from Internet users. The vigilance of the NGO has focused on 7 main failings of Facebook. In accordance with GDPR, the company will have 4 months to respond before the Internet Society France takes this case before the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris.

7 grievances: recurring violations of freedoms and privacy

The Internet Society France demands that Facebook provide clear answers on 7 points:

1. The effectiveness in securing personal data of Facebook members, following recent attacks.

2. In the event of a security breach, users do not seem to have been properly informed.

3. Tracer cookies collect information from non-members who simply consult the Facebook social network.

4. The Terms of Use of Facebook limit its responsibilities on personal data.

5. The social network collects data on the sexual orientation, political opinions and religious beliefs of its members.

6. The “free and informed” consent of users of Facebook and Whatsapp is not explicit, as it is buried in the Terms of Use. Nonetheless, data is shared between the platforms.

7. It is impossible to partially oppose the processing of Facebook data, which is in breach of the GDPR.

A new era in the protection of individuals

“The role of associations and class actions is to remind Internet giants that they do not live in a parallel world, but that laws ensuring respect of individuals and their privacy also apply online. It is time to end the law of the jungle, with legal but unethical practices where large companies require signatures of Terms of Use that are long, incomprehensible and intimidating, and thereby acquire rights to private elements of the lives of citizens “ says Nicolas Chagny, president of the Internet Society France.

Maître Olivier Iteanu, Lawyer at the Court of Appeal of Paris and lecturer at the University of Paris I Sorbonne, who directs the legal work of the Internet Society France, will represent the association mandated by the complainants before the Tribunal.

The Internet Society France is making a bold move: the association and its lawyers consider that the grievances — if not refuted by Facebook — could represent damages that could be compensated by up to 1,000 euros per person. So if 100,000 people join this lawsuit, 100 million euros will be demanded of Facebook.

In Europe, Facebook alone had 278 million users in the third quarter of 2018. The Internet Society France, french chapter of an international NGO that federates Internet users from more than 100 countries, believes that it is the opportunity to ensure that a European civil society voice be heard. “Personal data issues are everywhere in the day-to-day life of Europeans: security loopholes, connectivity issues …. This action must show that individuals are neither alone nor helpless to assert their rights. We hope that it will create a European dynamic,” concludes Odile Ambry, Honorary President of the Internet Society France and co-founder of e-bastille.

To amplify its action, the E-Bastille initiative will be present at the Internet Governance Forum to be held at UNESCO from 12 to 14 November 2018.

Information on the class action and the possibility to join it are available on the website www.ebastille.org.

Press contact: Gabrielle Apfelbaum — +33(0)6 19 19 25 53 / Nathalie Riera — +33(0)6 82 83 34 20


A PROPOS DE E-BASTILLE

S’approprier une loi et ses implications est une démarche citoyenne : l’acte de « dire le droit » remonte à la Révolution française ! L’initiative e-bastille vient au soutien des Autorités de contrôle, pour la défense de la vie privée des citoyens.

Les données sont la nouvelle frontière ! Dessinons-la ensemble.

e-bastille est co-piloté par Odile Ambry, Nicolas Chagny, Olivier Itéanu et Antoine Trouche.

ebastille.org — @e_bastille