Facebook Inc will face a class action lawsuit accusing it of violating its users’ privacy by scanning the content of messages they send to other users for advertising purposes. U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, dismissed some state-law claims against the social media company but largely denied Facebook’s bid to dismiss the lawsuit. Facebook had argued that the alleged scanning of its users’ messages was covered by an exception under the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act for interceptions by service providers occurring in the ordinary course of business.
They had not offered a sufficient explanation of how the challenged practice falls within the ordinary course of its business.
U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton
The lawsuit, filed in 2013, alleged that Facebook scanned the content of private messages sent between users for links to websites and would then count any links in a tally of “likes” of the pages. Those “likes” were then used to compile user profiles, which were then used for delivering targeted advertising to its users, the lawsuit said.