Facebook sues European Union: Accuses it of breaching data privacy

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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In an ironic turn of events, Facebook reported that it has sued European Union antitrust regulators for the invasion of its privacy.

The social media company says that the authorities have been seeking unnecessary information as part of their investigation at their data and marketplace. Many of those requests have also allegedly demanded personal information of Facebook’s employees.

Since 2019, Facebook has been on the EU regulators’ radar for its controversial user data collection and digital marketplace. Facebook Marketplace has users in over 70 countries who can buy and sell products. So far, the giant social network appears to have met with the investigation, turning over nearly 315,000 documents equivalent to 1.7 million pages.

Tim Lamb, associate general counsel for Facebook says that “the exceptionally broad nature of the Commission’s requests means we would be required to turn over predominantly irrelevant documents that have nothing to do with the Commission’s investigations. This includes highly sensitive personal information such as employees’ medical information, personal financial documents, and private information about family members of employees.”

Documents with the phrases “shut down,” “big question,” and “not good for us” hold the interest of the investigators.

But Facebook argues that such phrases can be contained in extremely confidential personal records, including reviews of employees, applications and medical details, which it says the inquiry has no right to intrude on.

The social media giant claims that though it had agreed to allow investigators to access some of these documents in safe rooms where no copies could be made, it was refused.

Apart from this case, Facebook is still pursuing temporary action at the Luxembourg-based General Court, the second-highest in Europe, to suspend these calls for data until judges rule, according to a court filing.

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