5 Jan 2014

Facebook Accused Of Reading Private Messages

One aspect of the long-running debate about Facebook privacy may soon be heading to court.

Two Facebook users, Michael Hurley and Matthew Campbell, filed a class action lawsuit against Facebook on Dec. 30, 2013, alleging that the social network "has systematically violated consumers’ privacy by reading its users’ personal, private Facebook messages without their consent."

The lawsuit also alleges that when Facebook finds a link in a private message, it essentially clicks on the URL and if that site has a Facebook "Like" button, the inclusion of the URL in that message is registered as a "Like" for that webpage.

The plaintiffs want Facebook to pay each member of the class action lawsuit "$100 a day for each day of violation or $10,000."

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2012 that Facebook was scanning private messages and also registering "Likes" for links in private messages. According to the WSJ, Facebook said it filtered private messages for spam or hints of criminal activity, but also promised that "absolutely no private information has been exposed."

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