This week, a court in Canada ruled that Facebook can’t toss the case of a man suing the social media giant for $50 million in damages because it did not take down an imposter page.
The case, originally filed in 2020 by a man named Timothy Craig Durkin, said that a Facebook account had been created using his identity “without his knowledge or consent.” He didn’t have an account on the platform, so he asked friends and family to report it for him. He also took steps to notify the company of this apparent imposter, but he received no real response. Now, he is suing Facebook for acting “recklessly, negligently and willfully” by allowing the imposter page to be published without verifying the identity of its creator. And while the court has some reservations about his argument, it has also agreed that the case should be allowed to proceed.
“In my view, it is clear enough that the plaintiff says that the defendants acted negligently and contrary to privacy legislation when they used their platform to publish information in the plaintiff’s name and permitted someone else to open an account in his name, all without his authorization,” the court said. “He says further that the defendants were negligent in failing to remove the imposter account for five months.”
Despite being allowed to proceed, this case is likely still a longshot. However, it’s always a good thing when Facebook is forced to publicly account for its failures like this.
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