On the same day that Facebook went public, the company has been hit with a $15 billion class action lawsuit connected to user tracking. The lawsuit was filed in San Jose, California federal court and it combines over 20 similar cases from around the U.S. The organizers of the lawsuit are accusing Facebook of invading the privacy of users by tracking their movements online, which the company is able to do using the “like” buttons embedded on hundreds of thousands of websites.
?This is not just a damages action, but a groundbreaking digital-privacy rights case that could have wide and significant legal and business implications,? said David Straite, a partner at Stewarts Law US LLP, in an interview with Bloomberg. Stewarts Law is one of the companies leading the lawsuit.
The plaintiffs are claiming that Facebook’s tracking of users violates the U.S. Wiretap Act, which forbids the ?interception and disclosure of wire, oral or electronic communications.?
According to the lawsuit, the Wiretap Act “provides statutory damages of the greater of $100 per violation per day, up to $10,000, per Facebook user.” This adds up to around $15 billion for Facebook’s 800+ million users.