The Canadian Facebook Privacy Class Action

Concerns over privacy issues with Facebook are not new, but the more recent changes did create expectations of intervention through the Privacy Commissioner.

I’m not sure if anyone expected a class action lawsuit in Canada.

Not surprisingly it’s the Merchant Law Group LLP that is heading this claim “for improper handling of confidential information and privacy issues.”

Tony Merchant said,

What Facebook is doing is a bait-and-switch process. The bait is that they wanted to be able to do demographic sales targeting, and the switch is that to do that, they needed to get into people’s personal information.

Damages have not been established, because nobody knows how much Facebook profited from the information.

Meanwhile, Facebook has recently introduced some changes that limit access to information by 3rd-Party applications, first announced in 2009 in response to inquiries by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner. Back in 2008 I did an interview with Lisa Feinberg, a law student at the University of Ottawa who was involved in filing the complaint.

You see Canada, you can make changes that affect the world. Even if it is limited to Facebook.


  1. Omar – this is a copycat lawsuit. Anyone who knew of the US law suit ought to have expected the “me too” Cdn version.

  2. Take a look around David, seems some people were surprised, especially since several months have passed from the announcement of the American suit.

    Presumably the basis for the Merchant claim is not the same as the previous Beacon suits from 2008, and rather the 2009 privacy changes, but we won’t know until more information becomes available. Feel free to share the information with us once it does.