Saturday 25 March 2017

McManus sues Facebook for failing to remove fake profile pages

Tim Healy

MULTI-millionaire businessman JP McManus is to sue the world's biggest social networking website for alleged breaches of privacy and data protection.

The case against Facebook is over the alleged failure by the company to take down three user profiles on the website falsely claiming to be him.

At a preliminary hearing yesterday Paul Gallagher SC, for Mr McManus, said that representatives for his client had asked Facebook to take the sites down, but were unsuccessful.

However, when contacted by the Irish Independent last night, Facebook immediately took down at least one of the profiles and promised any other such profiles would also be removed.

A spokesperson for Facebook could not account for why Mr McManus's representatives were unable to get the profile removed. "Our terms of service are unique in that you have to be who you say you are -- we're among the best on the web for that," a spokesperson said. Mr McManus's solicitors could not be contacted last night.

The Facebook profiles at the centre of the proceedings stated they were "JP McManus" and contained photos of him.

Lawyers for Mr McManus, known for his privacy, were yesterday granted permission by the High Court to bring proceedings against Facebook Ireland over an alleged failure to take down three identified sites.

In the proceedings, Mr McManus (60), from Limerick, is also seeking declarations that Facebook's alleged failure to remove the accounts identified is an unlawful breach of his constitutional rights. He is also seeking damages for defamation, malicious falsehood, fraudulent misrepresentation and negligence.

The judge made the matter returnable to Monday.

Irish Independent

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