A newly amended class action lawsuit filed in federal court in San Jose seeks up to $15 billion from Facebook for tracking user’s activity after they left Facebook. The complaint contends that the Facebook has engaged in a pattern of disregard for the privacy rights of its members and intentionally tracked user offsite in violation of the Wiretap Act, the Stored Communications Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and various common law and California statutory provisions. Facebook has since amended its data collection policy to make clear that it does collect offline data.
Past privacy actions against Facebook have had mixed results, as set forth below.
Past Cases: Settlements
Lane v. Facebook (Case No. 09-3845 RS; March 17, 2010) . Facebook paid $9 million as part of Beacon class action settlement.
Past Cases: Dismissed
In Re Facebook Privacy Litigation, C 10-02389 JW (N.D. Cal.; Nov. 22, 2011 and May 12, 2011). Dismissed for failure to state a claim under Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act and California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act.
Cohen v. Facebook, C 10-5282 RS (N.D. Cal. June 28, 2011), Dismissed for failing to allege cognizable injury arising from promoting its ‘friend finder’ feature by disclosing to users that their Facebook ‘friends’ have used that function.
[T]he names and likenesses were merely displayed on the pages of other users who were already plaintiffs’ Facebook “friends” and who would regularly see, or at least have access to, those names and likeness in the ordinary course of using their Facebook accounts
Past Cases: Denied Dismissal
Fraley v. Facebook, Inc., 2011 WL 6303898 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 16, 2012). Court refuses to dismiss complaint based on sponsored story program that use violated the users’ publicity rights for which they are entitled to compensation.