Matt Campbell, a lawyer from Arkansas has sued Facebook alleging that Facebook systematically scans users’ private messages for data mining and sharing the resulting data with marketers, advertisers and data aggregators for profit.
Facebook spokesperson has said that the lawsuit was without any merits and Facebook will defend itself in court very vigorously.
The case brought against Facebook is based on alleged lack of transparency at Facebook about the actual number of ‘likes’ on the social network.
In October 2012, it was revealed on Hacker News that Facebook also counts towards likes a link shared between users in a private message regardless of the fact whether the users had actually liked it or not. Facebook admitted that this was the case but also said that the private information of the users was not exposed in the process. This essentially meant that users can create countless number of likes for a page by sending it in private messages regardless of whether they liked the page or not.
Campbell and his his co-plaintiff, Hurley are asking court to direct Facebook to stop skimming private messages of users for links and pay suitable money to users whose private message have been scanned in the past.