Facebook accused of snooping user messages

A collective action filed in California, United States, accuses Facebook of violating users’ privacy and scanning the content of messages sent for advertising purposes. Judge Phyllis Hamilton, of the San Jose court, denied the social network’s request to close the case.

The action was recorded in 2013 and claims that the content of private messages sent between users was intercepted, with the aim of gathering data to improve the marketing algorithm and counting these links as liked on some pages. They were then used to compile user profiles that would be used to send targeted advertising to each of the groups.

According to the company, the scanning would be protected by an exception in the Electronic Communication Privacy Act, which allowed interceptions to be carried out, as long as they were linked to the nature of the company’s business. The judge stated that “Facebook has not satisfactorily explained how the accusation can be characterized as part of the nature of its business”.

The prosecution alleged that the practice violates federal law in the United States and California. The process should take place in the next year.

Via Reuters

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