Six Facebook Privacy Blunders
Facebook routinely pushes privacy boundaries and riles privacy advocates.
Last week, I said Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas) were blowing things out of proportion by calling Facebook to account for the "tracking" that occurs outside of the social networking site when users click the Facebook "Like" button on other websites or use their Facebook credentials to sign into other websites. I said Facebook should probably be more diligent about educating users on the "Like" button and Facebook Connect.
It sounded logical at the time, but obviously there's more to the story because Facebook is now defending against at least six different lawsuits on the issue. According to MediaPost, suits were filed in federal courts in Illinois, Texas, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois. And The (Columbus, Ind.) Republic reports a suit has also been filed in federal court in Kentucky.
MediaPost's Wendy Davis explains:
The lawsuits allege that Facebook violated wiretap laws by receiving data about users as they surf the Web -- even when they were logged out of the social networking service.
Facebook has yet to file responses in the suits, but by all indications will argue that said tracking did not and will not harm the plaintiffs.
An ABC News report on the Kansas suit says that plaintiff, John Graham, is seeking class action status for all of the 250 million Facebook users in the country. If the court determines class action status is warranted, it is likely the suits will be consolidated.