SAN JOSE – Several Facebook users have filed a class action privacy violation lawsuit against the social site, accusing the company of scanning private user messages in order to collect information about them.
The plaintiffs are not detailing what Facebook uses the information for but state they have proof that the company scans chat messages between users.
Facebook said in a statement that the lawsuit is without merit and the company intends to fight the claim in court.
Graham Cluley writes that Facebook has the right to scan user messages because he believes that not doing so would mean they are “disturbingly lax in their duty of care for users”.
Cluley goes on to write that not scanning messages and links would leave an online door wide open for “spam, scams, phishing attacks, and malicious URLs designed to infect recipients’ computers with malware to run rife”.
The complaint was filed by Matthew Campbell and Michael Hurley with the Northern District Court in California.
If Facebook is indeed scanning user messages, it is not the only Internet company resorting to such practice. Google has been scanning Gmail user data for several years already in order to place ‘matching’ ads with the emails.
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