Facebook is often accused of violating users’ privacy, and once again the company will have to face the risk of going through a class action lawsuit for similar reasons. The social networking company was earlier accused of scanning messages users send to others for advertising purposes. Now the company must face a class action lawsuit for it, according to a ruling on Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, Calif.
Facebook (FB) accepts the claims but pleads not guilty
The social media company was charged with some state law claims, of which some were dismissed by the judge, but it largely denied the request to dismiss the case against Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), says a report from Reuters. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) accepted that it did resort to scanning users’ messages, but it tried defending itself, saying that an exception under the Federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act covered it.
Hamilton went against Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), saying, “Facebook had not offered a sufficient explanation of how the challenged practice falls within the ordinary course of its business.”
The lawsuit further said Facebook used to compile user profiles with help from “likes,” and later users received targeted advertising. Such action, according to the complaint, was in violation of federal and California state law.
Rising awareness among users
The lawsuit was filed in 2013, and it accuses Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) of scanning the content of private messages sent between users for links to websites. Later, the company allegedly counted any links in a tally of “likes” of the pages. Matthew Campbell is the Facebook user who filed the said lawsuit on behalf of users based in the U.S. Such users have either sent or received private messages with website addresses as part of their content in the past two years.
In October 2012, Facebook stopped use the technology at issue, according to Tuesday’s ruling. The ruling citing the company’s words, which said some analysis of the messages by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) was needed because it was crucial for protecting against viruses and spam.
In recent times, the number of lawsuits against internet firms and social networks has been rising. The primary reason for this is increasing awareness among consumers about privacy rules, which is good for users but not so good for the tech giants.
As of now, there have been no comments from Facebook about the case. The case is Campbell v. Facebook Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 13-5996.