Facebook sued for violating user privacy by scanning private messages

David Parker January 7, 2014 0

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Every day, every educated person in this world of techies spends a minimum of one hour on Facebook, the leading social network giant that has dominated the industry of social media ever since its launch. Even Twitter and Pinterest are unable to enjoy the industry domination that this genius creation of Mark Zuckerberg does. However, off late the firm seems to be facing a rough time. We know how well Facebook has optimized its applications to enhance user experience. However, there have been negative outbursts on part of users who are not really open to sudden unannounced changes in the layout or privacy policies.

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Facebook: A Relentless Newsmaker

Facebook was in the news lately because of the declaration that publishers who did not hold enough credibility were to be filtered and checked before getting the green signal in terms of posting. The latest controversy that has brought the social media giant back in news has nothing to do with angry outbursts or policy changes. Instead, the allegation involves the data collection practice of the social network. According to two Californians, Michael Hurley and Matthew Campbell, Facebook scans your private messages and even taps URLs within them. What comes as a surprise to all Facebook lovers, this allegation can have serious impact on the company’s performance if proved right. The lawsuit has been filed in the district court of Northern California, wherein the plaintiffs have insisted that the suit be converted into a class action lawsuit.

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What Actually Happened?

These activities are in stark contrast with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and Facebook faces heat on these grounds for a second time in a row, the first time being a story in the Wall Street Journal in 2012. According to the allegations, Facebook has been reading your personal message contents and sharing crucial data with advertisers. Also, they have been clicking on URLs that are shared across personal chats, to ensure that there is FB like on the site they are visiting. In case there is a FB widget, an extra ‘Like’ is fed in at the website, thereby increasing Facebook likes on that particular site. The complainants wish to make this into a class action lawsuit; and believe that up to 166 million Facebook users can actually join in the movement and claim the predicted $10,000 amount that is due for each person if the court decides so.

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