BC, Canadian Privacy Commissioners to Sue Facebook for Privacy Violations

Facebook is about to face even more legal problems. This time, the BC and Canadian privacy commissioners are taking Facebook to court.

More court action could be in Facebooks future. This time, it’s going to take place in Canada. The legal problems stem from an app known as This is Your Digital Life. The users affected by this, of course, go well beyond the people who use the app. In fact, friends and friends of friends could be impacted by the alleged mishandling of private information.

A report filed says that more than 87 million users are impacted including 600,000 Canadians. From the CBC:

“They say that they are accountable. We have seen in this instance that they were not accountable,” Therrien told reproters during a media conference in Ottawa Thursday.

The report said the company broke number of federal and B.C. laws by:

  • Failing to obtain valid and meaningful consent of installing users.
  • Failing to obtain meaningful consent from friends of installing users.
  • Having inadequate safeguards to protect user information.
  • Failing to be accountable for the user information under its control.

Facebook, for its part, disputed the findings, saying that there is no evidence that Canadian’s information was misused and that improvements to the service. They acknowledged that there was a major breach of trust, however.

The privacy commissioners are also calling on the Canadian government to give them more power to investigate and levy fines against companies that break privacy laws in Canada. They’ve been calling for this for some time, but are hoping that this case will finally be the tipping point to giving the commissioners legal teeth like many European countries.

The legal action may not actually carry a fine, however, they seem to be hoping that they are going to be forced to change their policies through a court order.

Facebook is facing a number of privacy controversies lately. Last week, more than half a billion users were exposed in a data leak. That one affects both Facebook and Instagram. Earlier this month, Facebook was accused by security and digital rights experts of carrying out phishing efforts on new users who sign up with Yandex or GMX e-mail accounts.

This latest report and potential legal action is just another case of Facebook facing legal problems over its privacy record.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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