Are Facebook illegally scanning your private messages?

3 January 2014

Bitterwallet - Facebook Facebook are staring at a class action lawsuit over allegations that they have been monitoring people's private messages illegally. Facebook aren't new to personal privacy issues, but this one is a humdinger of an accusation.

The lawsuit reckons that when users share links with each other privately, Facebook scans it to profile the user's web behaviours. If this is true, then Facebook are systematically intercepting messages and mining them for personal data and then potentially sharing it with data aggregators and marketers.

Facebook said the allegations were "without merit" and, in a statement, they said: "We will defend ourselves vigorously."

The lawsuit claims that Facebook reviews private messages "for purposes unrelated to the facilitation of message transmission", continuing: "Representing to users that the content of Facebook messages is "private" creates an especially profitable opportunity for Facebook... because 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."

"Thus, Facebook has positioned itself to acquire pieces of the users' profiles that are likely unavailable to other data aggregators."

So, to the ugly business of money. The lawsuit wants to claim for the greater of either $100 (£61 to you) a day for each day of the violations or $10,000, for each user.

TOPICS:   Social Media   Privacy

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