Friday, January 3, 2014

Facebook spying on private messages, selling them to advertisers - lawsuit

A federal lawsuit has been filed earlier this week accusing the world’s biggest social networking site, Facebook, of examining its users’ private messages contents "for purposes unrelated to the facilitation of message transmission".

Two plaintiffs are seeking a class action suit on behalf of all Facebook users who have sent or received a private message in the past two years that contained links.

The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in San Jose, California, claims that the site examines links shared privately by users, on a regular basis intercepts messages to collect customer data and profits by sharing it with data aggregators, advertisers and marketers.
Facebook spokeswoman Jackie Rooney denied allegations, saying they were "without merit" and that "we will defend ourselves vigorously".
The lawsuit is claiming either $100 a day for each day of alleged violations or $10,000, for each user.
The lawsuit is based upon an independent study suggesting that Facebook records everything users type on the social networking site, including notes they choose to delete instead of posting. Such practice "creates an especially profitable opportunity for Facebook," as "users who believe they are communicating on a service free from surveillance are likely to reveal facts about themselves that they would not reveal had they known the content was being monitored".
However, there are people who defend Facebook, explaining that if the site doesn’t properly scan links its users share with each other there is a high risk of infecting recipients’ computers with malware by means of spam, scam and phishing attacks.
Facebook was already castigated for its privacy policies in the past, but it’s not alone among tech giants facing lawsuits that claim privacy violations. For instance, Google has been sued in federal court for illegally accessing the contents of emails sent through its Gmail service.

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