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Facebook being sued in federal court for invasion of privacy

A Mississippi woman is suing Facebook for allegedly violating federal wiretap laws by tracking her web use while she was not logged into the site.

A Mississippi woman is suing Facebook for allegedly violating federal wiretap laws by tracking her web use while she was not logged into the site.

Facebook tracks users even when logged out

We reported last month that Dave Winer at Scripting.com exposed that Facebook keeps tabs on where you are browsing without your consent and shortly thereafter, entrepreneur Nik Cubrilov discovered that by using cookies, Facebook was keeping track of its users even after the logged out, causing outrage at violated privacy of users.

Cubrilovic spoke with Facebook engineers who agreed to change how they store cookies, but they are still retained and not deleted after users log out, and they do not expire. Cubrilovic reports that Facebook removes your account information at log out but they still retain “non-personal data about your browser,” which has led to browser extensions like Facebook Disconnect to block Facebook from tracking their browsing history.

This move on Facebook’s part led to Joe Barton (R-TX) and Ed Markey (D-MA) requesting that the FTC investigate Facebook regarding their collecting of data even when users have logged out.

New lawsuit against Facebook

According to TheRegister, a Mississippi woman is suing Facebook for allegedly violating federal wiretap laws by tracking her web use while she was not logged into the site. She is seeking class action status and going after the social media giant for trespassing, unjust enrichment, invasion of privacy and (we believe most importantly), breach of contract.

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Facebook has said that the cookies are meant to prevent spam and they claim they do not log all data it receives. Facebook did not comment to TheRegister on the case, but this is a monumental privacy rights case that could change how all social networks track (or do not track) users independent of whether or not they are logged in.

Written By

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

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