The wiretapping claims against Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) were dismissed on Thursday. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that neither companies violate the federal wiretap law. In 2010, Zynga and Facebook users had filed separate lawsuits against the respective companies. The lawsuits were later consolidated on appeal. The plaintiffs claimed that the two companies disclosed user information to advertisers.
Law allows Facebook to share user information with others
Anyway, the U.S. appeals court said that the plaintiffs can pursue claims that the user information disclosure violated Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s privacy policies. That means the user information disclosure doesn’t violate the wiretap law, but it does go against Facebook’s privacy policies. Plaintiffs argue that when a user clicks on a Facebook ad or a Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) game, the third-party advertisers receive the user’s IDs and Facebook page address.
The three-judge 9th Circuit panel said Thursday that the wiretap claims didn’t qualify as “contents of a communication” under the law. And legally, content is different from the user information. The Stored Communications Act allows companies like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to share user information with anybody other than a government entity.
At its F8 conference, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) launched the Audience Network. It will allow advertisers to place targeted ads in the users’ third-party mobile apps.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares fell 0.28% to $56.60 in pre-market trading Friday.