A group of Facebook users has sued Facebook for violation of their privacy, and privacy law in general. The group, which includes two children under the age of thirteen, an actress, and a professional photographer, have sued Facebook in California Superior Court, alleging that Facebook’s practices violate California online privacy laws which make it illegal to reveal users’ private data for commercial gain.
According to the complaint, “Plaintiffs and the general public desire and expect a level of privacy, which Facebook has failed to satisfy under its current policies, procedures, practices, and technology.”
Facebook, headquartered in Palo Alto, California, denies the allegations, and has stated that “We see no merit to this suit and we plan to fight it.”
But not everybody sees it that way, and some feel that Facebook has been, at best, cavalier with user data, at worst, lawsuit-worthy. In fact, a recent investigation by Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart led Stoddart to opine that Facebook was “unconcerned” with member privacy.
Of course, whether this rises to the level of “illegal” is a matter for the courts to decide. But in the meantime, a statement by Facebook which shows a little more empathy and understanding for user privacy concerns – rather than a denouncement – would be nice.