Facebook to face lawsuit for ‘reading’ users’ messages
Facebook must face a class action lawsuit accusing it of violating its users' privacy by scanning the content of messages they send to other users for advertising purposes, a US judge has ruled.
US district judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, on Tuesday dismissed some state-law claims against the social media company but largely denied Facebook's bid to dismiss the lawsuit.
Facebook had argued that the alleged scanning of its users' messages was covered by an exception under the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act for interceptions by service providers occurring in the ordinary course of business.
According to Tuesday's ruling, Facebook ceased the practice at issue in October 2012. But the company said it still does some analysis of messages to protect against viruses and spam, the ruling said.
The lawsuit was filed by Facebook user Matthew Campbell and seeks class action status on behalf of US users who sent or received private messages that included website addresses in their content.