said it discovered a security breach that affects nearly 50
million user accounts. According to the company hackers
exploited the 'View As' feature on the service and steps are
being taken to fix the security problem.
Facebook users could be owed as much as 6,000 pounds ($7,800) in
compensation as a result of the security breach revealed last week.
experts have told The Sun that damages could run into the
"thousands" for anyone affected by the hack — if you can prove
you felt distressed.
breach was possible thanks to several bugs in Facebook's systems,
which were exploited by hackers.
Sun spoke to legal experts at U.K. law firm Slater and Gordon, who
revealed that affected British citizens could make a claim
Pope, head of group litigation at the firm, told The Sun that
it would be possible to file a "civil claim" under the EU's new GDPR
data protection regulations, which came into force earlier this
are certain rules — one of those is the security principle,
which means [Facebook] has to secure your data with appropriate
technical and organizational measures," Gareth said.
said this rule is "nice and wide", and gives Facebook users the best
chance of squeezing some cash out of the rogue social network.
you have left a laptop on the train without a password then that's
not secured data," he explained.
you have left open the doors of your system to hackers then you have
also not secured your data."
to Gareth, Article 82 of the GDPR rules lets anybody bring "a
claim for compensation against Facebook if they have suffered
material or non-material damage".
where you're going to get them on the breach of the law — under
GDPR, you've not adhered to the security principle under those
laws," he said.
used to be the case that Facebook users would've had to prove
financial loss to get compensation.
that's no longer true.
could say 'hackers gained control of my Facebook account, that has
caused me some sort of distress', and that is now enough," he said.
added that joining up to a group action – rather than taking on
Facebook alone – would be wisest too.
you act as a group, you're more likely to bring Facebook to the
table and take your claims more seriously," Gareth told The Sun.
how much could you actually get from Facebook?
to Gareth, the potential compensation from a civil lawsuit "is
infinite" – but it's unlikely you'll get millions from billionaire
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg.
it's closer to thousands: "When looking at the hack of a social
account, I would think that would be several thousands of pounds of
have a better chance of getting more money if something bad actually
happened to you after the Facebook hack.
court will have to attribute a value to the degree of suffering that
you have suffered yourself," Gareth said.
so, for example, that could be quite a wide range. If somebody had
info taken and nobody knows who took it – and nothing happened –
then you could say you felt distress.
somebody hacked a business and all sorts of business details and
trade secrets, and managed to get financial info, and they lost
money, obviously the compensation will be higher."
admitted his own firm Slater and Gordon would consider taking the
case on, but they'd need someone to fund the suit — as hacked
users could probably only expect a few thousand pounds in
certainly something we would look at," he said.
more complex than saying 'yes, it's a winnable' case. We would
obviously need to work out how the claim was funded, we'd need a
wouldn't expect claimants would want to pay us to run the claim for
probably only £4-, 5-, 6,000 worth of compensation.
also need an insurance policy so clients wouldn't have to pay
Facebook's legal costs if we lose."
also possible that Facebook might decide to settle the matter out of
court – and just pay hacked users a fee.
is currently worth around 361 billion pounds and employs some of the
best legal minds in the world, but Zuck's empire might find a court
battle too costly.
has essentially unlimited resources — if these claims are
probably not tens of thousands [of pounds] then they might be
several thousands [of pounds] at least.
gonna start thinking about cost and benefit."