A lawyer and political blogger in Arkansas is filing a lawsuit against Facebook for allegedly using information from private messages to create targeted ads. Matt Campbell filed a class-action lawsuit on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Campbell is known for creating the political website Blue Hog Report. Campbell’s co-plaintiff is Oregon resident Michael Hurley.
Campbell said that the private messages are intercepted by the social network, which “enables Facebook to mine user data and profit from those data by sharing them with third parties ? namely, advertisers, marketers, and other data aggregators.” Facebook said that the lawsuit has no merit and the company will defend themselves vigorously. Campbell and Hurley’s lawsuit is in regards to the alleged lack of transparency regarding the use of “likes.”
Generally Facebook creates ads based on group memberships and if that brand has been “liked” by the user. However, Facebook acknowledged that private messages between users count towards the total in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
Facebook said that no private information is exposed. Campbell and Hurley are asking Facebook to change their policy of scanning links within private messages and is asking monetary awards for users whose messages have been scanned.
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