Facebook is now facing a national lawsuit over invasion of privacy after a federal judge ruled that Facebook’s opinion of privacy does not match his. He said that Facebook’s idea of privacy is just “wrong.” U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco said that users have several avenues and statutes under which they can go after Facebook over the invasion of their privacy. The judge says there are several state and federal laws that prevent App developers from selling personal information. Facebook tried to make the claim that no one suffered any damage from the sale of their information, but the judge vigorously disagreed.
A Facebook spokesperson stated that the company considers protecting users information and privacy “extremely important” but believes that its practices were consistent with its disclosures and as a result “do not support any legal claims.” Two of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, Lesley Weaver and Derek Loeser, stated that they were pleased with the judge’s decision and “especially gratified that the court is respecting Facebook users’ right to privacy.”
Chhabria stated that Facebook should not treat user privacy as an “all-or-nothing” proposition where users are forced to forfeit their privacy by sharing data in a “limited” fashion. Chhabria further noted that Facebook had argued the opposite in other cases such as one in California where it likened information kept on social media accounts to data stored on smartphones where there may be a greater expectation of privacy.
Chhabria stated that position is “closer to the truth than the company’s assertions in this case,” and added that “Sharing information with your social media friends does not categorically eliminate your privacy interest in that information.”