Expert: Users Should Be Able To Sue Facebook For Privacy-Related Damages

Privacy controversies continue to pile up for Facebook, including the revelation last month that the company has shared the personal information of millions of consumers with other major tech companies like Spotify, Google and more. This has caused many users to consider leaving Facebook, though according to a new op-ed in The New York Times, they should be weighing an even stronger course of action: taking the company to court.

According to lawyer Neema Singh Guliani, Facebook has made it virtually impossible for users to sue it over privacy infractions by arguing that the law doesn’t grant consumers the right. Instead, Facebook argues, consumers have to prove that the company caused additional “concrete” harm beyond the violation.

Of course, the fallout from a privacy violation is hard to prove and even harder still to measure. As Guliani argues, this has pretty much granted Facebook free rein to break the rules with no fear of facing the consequences in court.

“Huge privacy violations have become commonplace,” Guliani wrote in the Times. “Without a private right of action, consumers have little practical ability to seek relief in cases where their data was mishandled or misused. This eliminates a powerful enforcement stick that can be used to dissuade companies from violating the law.”

Thankfully, with Facebook facing increased scrutiny from lawmakers, there’s never been a better time to challenge the company. Here’s hoping it leads to everyday users getting a stronger legal voice.