Facebook sued for 15 billion dollars over privacy concerns
May 21st, 2012 - 09:55 am ET by J. G.
Facebook is being sued in a class action law suit in the United States. Accused of continuing to monitor user’s online activities after they have disconnected from the social network, Facebook is being sued for 15 billion dollars.
Facebook has finally launched on the stock market at 38 dollars per share, with this valuing the group at more than 100 billion dollars. For the moment, the share price is only slightly higher than its list price.
While the stock market launch has attracted a lot of attention, the social network is far from having closed out their various privacy issues. In the United States, Facebook is the subject of a law suit opened by users who criticize the social network for continuing to monitor their browsing habits, even after they have disconnected from the Facebook site.
The class action brings together 21 similar cases opened in numerous states, with users demanding damages against Facebook for their monitoring activities between May 2010 and September 2011. Lawyers have even indicated that this class action will be opened to users from outside the US who have had their privacy invaded.
According to these lawyers, Facebook may have to pay more than 15 billion dollars for privacy violation. A Facebook spokesman has spoken with Bloomberg, stating that the accusations are without basis and will be contested.
In September 2011, Mark Zuckerberg’s social network was criticized by an Australian hacker for their dubious management of disconnection cookies, which apparently allowed users visited web sites to be traced when they visited a site with the Like button of a Facebook widget (even when disconnected from Facebook.com).
While Facebook’s engineers have denied there is an issue, the behaviour of three cookies was changed a few days after these revelations were made public. In a press release, Facebook declared that on some computers, three cookies contained user’s identification when they disconnected from the social network, although they assured everyone that these cookies couldn’t be used for tracking.