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Discriminatory ad targeting | Quebec Court of Appeals approves class action lawsuit against Facebook

(Montreal) A Quebec appeals court approved a class-action lawsuit against Facebook, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said Wednesday, accusing the social network of discrimination based on age, gender or origin in its ad targeting.

The California social media giant may have to pay compensation to the thousands of Quebecers who have used the platform since 2016 to search for jobs and housing, and ads could have been hidden because of these discriminatory standards.

“We are pleased with the ruling by the Court of Appeals of Quebec,” welcomed the plaintiffs’ attorney, Audrey Boctor, citing “widespread discriminatory practices.”

“Algorithmic discrimination that prevents certain groups of people, such as women and older workers, from receiving job ads is just a modern form of the same type of discrimination that is prohibited under the Quebec Charter,” she said in an email.

The class action lawsuit began in 2019 before it was dismissed by a lower court.

When contacted by AFP, Meta, Facebook’s parent company, did not want to comment on the Quebec appeals court’s decision, but confirmed that it had taken measures “to promote non-discrimination and fairness.” [ses] advertising systems.

The group has also faced similar lawsuits in the United States. In June, the company agreed to change its ad-targeting methods and pay a $115,054 fine to end a lawsuit from the US government, which accused it of facilitating racial and gender discrimination.

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