A federal appeals court reopened national lawsuits on Thursday accusing Facebook Inc (FB.O) of breaching the privacy rights of users by monitoring their internet activity even after logging out of the social media platform.
U.S. 9th. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Facebook users can make multiple privacy and wiretapping charges under federal and California laws.
A Facebook spokesperson said the planned class action was without substance and the corporation headquartered in Menlo Park, California, will continue to defend itself.
Facebook users had accused the company of secretly storing cookies on their browsers that monitored when they visited external websites with “like” buttons and then selling personal profiles to marketers based on their browsing history.
A.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, dismissed the case in 2017, making allegations under the federal Wiretap Act, and said the users lacked legal rights to make allegations for economic damages.
But Chief Judge Sidney Thomas wrote for a three-judge panel in Thursday’s decision that consumers had a fair expectation of privacy, and had adequately claimed a “simple violation” of their privacy rights.
The panel also said that California law acknowledged a right to recover unjustly earned money, irrespective of whether actions by a defendant actually caused economic harm.
“The user profiles of Facebook will potentially expose the preferences, dislikes, interests, and behaviors of a person over a significant period of time, without offering users a reasonable opportunity to monitor or avoid unauthorized disclosure of their private lives,” wrote Thomas.
Citing Facebook’s policies on data collection, he also said the plaintiffs “plausibly argued that Facebook had set the presumption that logged-out user data would not be collected, but would still be collected.”
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *