– Class action in Canada against Facebook, accused of discrimination
Facebook may have to pay compensation to several thousand Canadian users of the social network. They would not have had access to certain information due to discriminatory criteria.
A Quebec appeals court has approved a class-action lawsuit against Facebook accusing the social network of discrimination based on age, gender or origin in its advertising targeting, the plaintiffs’ lawyer told AFP on Wednesday.
The Californian social media giant may have to pay compensation to thousands of Quebecers who have used the platform since 2016 to look for jobs and housing and would have had ads hidden because of these discriminatory criteria.
“We are satisfied with the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Quebec,” hailed AFP the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Audrey Boctor, citing “widespread discriminatory practices”. “Algorithmic discrimination that prevents certain groups of people, such as women and older workers, from receiving job advertisements is just a modern form of the same type of discrimination prohibited under the Quebec Charter,” she said in an email.
A class action lawsuit commenced in 2019
The class action was initiated in 2019 before being dismissed by a court of first instance. Contacted by AFP, Meta, Facebook’s parent company, did not want to comment on the decision by the Quebec Court of Appeal, but said it had taken measures “to promote non-discrimination and fairness in (its) advertising systems”.
The group also faced similar lawsuits in the United States. In June, the company agreed to change its ad targeting methods and pay $115,054 in fines to settle a US government lawsuit that accused it of promoting racial and sexist discrimination.
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