Facebook Is Being Sued Over Scanning Private Messages
Estimated reading time: 6 minute(s)
We all know Facebook isn’t exactly big on privacy. It all began with Mark Zuckerberg calling facebook users ‘dumb fucks’ for trusting him with sensitive information, and well I guess he’s right (but we still use facebok, me included). Then recently we found out that facebook saves even posts that you don’t actually publish. Now Facebook is facing a class action lawsuit over scanning private facebook messages.
The lawsuit is over the unauthorized scanning of private messages for ad targeting use. Facebook tried to dismiss the claims, saying that it didn’t break any laws and that the alleged message scans were protected under an exception in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Specifically that “interceptions” are lawful if they occur over the “ordinary course” of a service provider’s business. The judge countered, saying that Facebook failed to offer explanation of how the scans fell under the website’s ordinary course of business.
If they win it would benefit any Facebook user that has sent or received links via the sites private message system in the past two years.
As reported by Bloomberg: We’d be remiss if we left out the possible pay-out, though: “as much as” $10,000 in damages for each user. Multiply that by Facebook’s billion-plus users, carry the one and you come out to a whole lot of money. In less exciting news, the plaintiffs also want the social giant to stop scanning messages moving forward.
But that’s not all they’re scanning ‘private’ messages for, I noticed recently that they will actually delete pictures sent over PM’s if they break the fb TOS. And sure, it’s just an algorithm scanning, but it sure feels creepy that they feel it okay to pry into ‘private’ messages like that.