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WinMX World :: Forum  |  Discussion  |  WinMx World News  |  Facebook sued for allegedly making private messages into public “likes”
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Author Topic: Facebook sued for allegedly making private messages into public “likes”  (Read 431 times)

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http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/01/facebook-sued-for-allegedly-making-private-messages-into-public-likes/

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The company overhauled its privacy policy 18 months ago to describe the liberties it takes with the information it collects—most user interactions are logged, aggregated, and shared (with anonymizing) to third parties, including data brokers and advertisers. Facebook also pointed out it would share anything users ever made publicly available with apps, games, or partner websites, and deleting that information from Facebook would not remove it from those partner databases.

The plaintiffs describe how Facebook effectively “clicks” on links within Facebook messages, an activity that it doesn’t explicitly disclose to users. The lawsuit claims Facebook crawls the linked page to see if it contains one of Facebook’s “Like” buttons. If so, Facebook registers that private-message link as a “Like” on the relevant site’s Facebook page—a strange example of turning a private communication public. The lawsuit also claims that Facebook “uses a combination of software and human screening to comb through private messages” to mine for user data for broader uses, including selling to third parties.

The plaintiffs do cite the section of Facebook’s data use policy where the company explains what information it “receives” about a user as they interact with the site, including sending and receiving messages, searching, or clicking on things. But they argue that Facebook’s data use policy doesn’t make clear that Facebook “scans, mines, and manipulates the content of its users’ private messages… in direct conflict with the assurances it provides to its users regarding the privacy and control they should expect.” Likewise, the data use policy does not make clear that “Facebook will register the fact that a URL is communicated privately… as a ‘Like’ for a particular web page,” reads the filing.

For Facebook’s alleged transgressions, the plaintiffs are seeking more than $100 for each day of violation or $10,000 per class member of the lawsuit, as well as statutory damages of either $5,000 per class member or three times the amount of actual damages, whichever is greater.

The lawsuit is based on an older anti-wiretapping law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, as well as California state laws. Civil lawsuits over privacy issues have proliferated in recent years. Many of those lawsuits have settled, but it's not clear whether pre-Internet privacy laws would be successful at trial in barring the data gathering of modern companies.

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They're probably in collaboration with the NSA.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/08/technology/tech-companies-bristling-concede-to-government-surveillance-efforts.html?pagewanted=1&hp&_r=0

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The companies that negotiated with the government include Google, which owns YouTube; Microsoft, which owns Hotmail and Skype; Yahoo; Facebook; AOL; Apple; and Paltalk, according to one of the people briefed on the discussions. The companies were legally required to share the data under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. People briefed on the discussions spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are prohibited by law from discussing the content of FISA requests or even acknowledging their existence.

In at least two cases, at Google and Facebook, one of the plans discussed was to build separate, secure portals, like a digital version of the secure physical rooms that have long existed for classified information, in some instances on company servers. Through these online rooms, the government would request data, companies would deposit it and the government would retrieve it, people briefed on the discussions said.

The negotiations have continued in recent months, as Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, traveled to Silicon Valley to meet with executives including those at Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Intel. Though the official purpose of those meetings was to discuss the future of the Internet, the conversations also touched on how the companies would collaborate with the government in its intelligence-gathering efforts, said a person who attended.

While handing over data in response to a legitimate FISA request is a legal requirement, making it easier for the government to get the information is not, which is why Twitter could decline to do so.

WinMX World :: Forum  |  Discussion  |  WinMx World News  |  Facebook sued for allegedly making private messages into public “likes”
 

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