Friday 3 January 2014

FACEBOOK sued for intercepting and reading private messages for its own gains in United States

As the NSA snooping story is being leaked out more and more people are becoming privacy concious and more and more skeletons are tumbling out.  Till the time Edward Snowden leaked about the NSA programs of wire taps, email and chat surveillance and other communications tapping, the world netizens were unaware that their private mails or chats were being read by somebody other then the intended party.  Continuing this doom and gloom snooping world is the latest news from California USA where Matthew Campbell and Michael Hurley have filed a class action suit against Facebook with the Northern District Court.  

FACEBOOK sued for intercepting and reading private messages for its own gains in United States

The suit alleges that Facebook unlawfully intercepted private messages without consent, in order to use the data for its own profit.  Further the plaintiffs have accused the website of violating both state and federal privacy laws in the US. 

Matthew Campbell and Michael Hurley have  accused the social networking website of violating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act by scanning private messages that had URLs in them for “purposes including but not limited to data mining and user profiling.”  In plain English it means that the suit is filed against Facebook for scanning their private messages in order to increase the number of likes on pages of websites being mentioned in them. The suit has also cited a report from Swiss security firm High-Tech Bridge, suggesting Facebook likes on web pages go up when users send the page as a private link. The study was released in August last year and it tried to show that Facebook scanned through the URLs in private messages, without informing the users. The plaintiffs claim that these messages are being viewed by other humans than the sender and receiver.

The class action suit has been filed on behalf of all US users who have sent or received private messages that contained a URL in them. Besides the fact that the plaintiffs are seeking an injunction from the courts against Facebook to stop this practice, they’re also seeking damages to the tune of $100 per user for each day Facebook violated the Electronics Communications Privacy Act.

Facebook has meanwhile defended itself from the allegations, “We believe the allegations are without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously,” a spokesperson for the website has said.

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