It's Time to Tackle GAFAM and Their World

18 April 2018 - Last Monday, we launched our class action campaign against GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft). Until May 25th (the day complaints will be brought to the CNIL - the French Data Protection Authority), anyone living in France can join us on gafam.laquadrature.net. These first steps will, over the long term, pave the way to steadily counter the world they are trying to force on us.

We are not waiting until the 25th of May, the day when the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) comes into force, to act. We no longer have to wait.

With this European regulation (which we staunchly supported three years ago), we finally have a chance to break down the horrible injustice upon which the world of GAFAM is built: the "consent" we've been giving them, allowing them to monitor and influence us, is worth nothing. We cannot use their websites and apps without letting them grossly use or abuse it however they want.

However, European law is now crystal clear: monetized, sold-off consent has no value, and is no longer enough to make their mass surveillance legal. Zuckerberg and his friends can no longer use this worthless agreement as their alibi to claim we're responsible for the loss of our privacy, or for the destruction of our social bonds.

Our class actions will be based on this sole legal argument, the falsehood of consent, because it targets the heart of the hyper-centralized (for them) and individualised (for us) world they hope to force on us.

Our 40-day campaign will dedicate each week to one member of GAFAM, to demonstrate how each one has its grip. But this is only the first step. GAFAM are merely the symbol of a world which, after this first step, has to be steadily destroyed by going against their allies (press or governmental websites), which spread their trackers everywhere on the Internet, against the agencies they are in bed with, and against all the businesses — particularly French ones — which have embraced their ambitions of mass manipulation, Criteo being at the head.

That's why this first step needs to be as powerful as possible. This first step will pave the way for the rest.

Powerful in what way? By forcing the CNIL (the French Data Protection Authority) into a corner. By handing it a complaint which comes from so many people, that failing to firmly respond to the complaint could make the CNIL lose its legitimacy. The new regulation finally makes such a responsible possible, thanks to it allowing fines of up to 4% of global income.

We need to be clear: this first step is so crucial that we simply cannot leave everything up to the CNIL. If, by September 3, the CNIL hasn't yet taken action, we will bring our case to the judiciary authority , civil or criminal, which also has the power to defend our rights.

We understand well that these actions will have a Europe-wide impact, if not worldwide. The cooperation between various EU member states, promoted by the new regulation, will undoubtedly mean that our actions will, in the end, be dealt with at the European level. We hereby invite the people of every member state to take up in their own country the initiative we have started in France: our actions will reach the peak!