Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) whose shares started trading today on Nasdaq is facing a lawsuit in which the plaintiffs are seeking more than $15 billion in damages over a perceived tracking of their web usage.
The complaint that was filed in a federal court in San Jose, CA was brought forward by a couple of Facebook users who said that the giant social networking firm, was tracking their activities even after they had logged out of the social networking site.
The cases, twenty one in all, have been consolidated in the court, and this latest filing is on behalf of Facebook users from the US who had joined Facebook from May 2010, to around September 2011.
Stewards Law US LLP, which is handling the case say that the main basis of the claim is that Facebook continued tracking its users long after they had signed off their accounts. The law firm also adds that the $15 billion comes from the U.S. Wiretap Act, and it provides damages of $100 on each violation every day, and $10,000 on every Facebook user.
A partner at Stewards Law, David Straite added that the lawsuit is one of a kind that has wide implications in legal and business circles. He also added that they were looking for ways to add claimants who were not from the US.
Responding to the claims, Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said that the claims were frivolous and that the recently listed company would be contesting them. The spokesman also added that the technology that is being named in the suit is not meant to compromise the privacy of users, but is meant to protect the social site from spammers.
Facebook Inc. (NASDQA: FB) got listed today, and it sold 412.2 million shares to raise $16 billion with each share sold at $38.
When Facebook first started trading it, popped to a high of $42.025, and has been fluctuating since and even kissed its IPO share price of $38.
The lawsuit that Facebook is currently embroiled in has been brought forward at a time when most internet firms are being blamed for not protecting users enough.
In fact, President’s Obama administration recently asked technology firms to be vigilant and come up with greater standards that can be used to protect users, and their privacy. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) said that it would add a- do not track- button in its browser so that users could be aware of any tracking that is carried out by the giant internet firm.
Nonetheless, close observers of the recent developments at Facebook are skeptical that the timing of the lawsuit coincided with the IPO, of the social networking giant and it reeks of a witch hunt on the day that they make their debut on the NASDAQ stock market.