Judge dismisses Facebook lawsuit, and states that it is the responsibility of the users to protect their own privacy
Facebook has struggled with quite some privacy related lawsuits in the past; however, it was handed a big win yesterday, when a US judge decided to dismiss a case against the company regarding its tracking activities.
The lawsuit emphasized Facebook’s activity of tracking people when they are not logged in on the site. It installs cookies on users’ browsers to track them when they visit other websites that have embedded “Like” buttons.
The complainant’s claim is that it means Facebook is tracking users’ activity and violating US federal and California laws around wiretapping and privacy. However, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California did not agree.
Moreover, he said that there are steps that could be taken by users in order to keep their browsing histories private, highlighting the fact that the complainants failed to prove that Facebook illegally intercepted communications.
“The fact that a user’s web browser automatically sends the same information to both parties,” Davila wrote, “does not establish that one party intercepted the user’s communication with the other.”
More than that, the complainants also failed to show a reasonable expectation of privacy, or that the company’s actions caused financial loss or damages. Even though they can’t use the same arguments again, they can bring a new suit that pursues a breach of contract claim, if they want to.
Facebook will, however, be pleased with the result, especially as it gives the users the chance to protect their privacy, something that very few bother doing.