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Facebook accused of scanning users` private messages

Last Updated: Friday, January 3, 2014 - 15:28

Zee Media Bureau

San Francisco: Social networking giant Facebook Inc has been sued for allegedly scouring through users` private messages to provide data to marketers and advertisers, according to reports.

Facebook users Matthew Campbell and Michael Hurley filed the class-action suit in the Northern District Court of California. They accused Facebook of scanning private messages with URLs in them `for purposes including but not limited to data mining and user profiling.`
However, a Facebook spokesperson has said that the allegations are without merit and the company would defend itself vigorously.

The lawsuit cites a report from Swiss security firm High-Tech Bridge that suggests that Facebook scans the links shared in private messages, along with giving references to media reports about the social media site`s third-party plug-ins for counting `likes` shared through private messages.

The plaintiffs, on behalf of all US users who have sent or received private messages that included a URL in the message, are seeking an injunction against Facebook to stop the practice, as well as statutory damages, which includes 100 dollars for each day that Facebook violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, per each member of the class, the report added.

(With Agency inputs)

First Published: Friday, January 3, 2014 - 15:27

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