Facebook Sued for Reading and Selling Data from Facebook Messages

Two Facebook users have filed a civil action suit claiming Facebook “scanned plaintiffs’ messages and searched the website identified in the URL for purposes including but not limited to data mining and user profiling,”

The law suit states that Facebook are misleading users by making users believe that the content of Facebook messages are private.  The content of these messages “creates an especially profitable opportunity for Facebook, because users who believe they are communicating on a service free from surveillance are likely to reveal facts about themselves that they would not reveal had they known the content was being monitored”. It goes on further to imply that this information is then sold or shared to marketers, advertisers or other data aggregating companies before commenting further that Facebook earned 2.7 Billion dollars in ‘targeted advertising’ sales.

Facebook are no stranger to lawsuits around privacy issues and use of users information and images, having recently settled a case regarding Facebook users and ‘sponsored stories’.  Although this particular case is strikingly similar to the one filed against Google which accused Google of scanning users email messages for marketing uses and data profiling.

Facebook have responded that they will vigorously defend against these claims.

CharisMcAwesome,  Picture by Andrew Feinberg  

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Charis McAwesome

Charis McAwesome is the full time writer of hashtagme and was previously a social media manager/advisor to companies including Microsoft, Intel, Lenovo, Deloitte, Tertiary institutions, banks and many more. Charis still provides digital strategy and big data analysis as a consultant.

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