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By Jimmy H. Koo
Facebook Inc. won’t have to face claims by a massive potential class that it tracked offline users’ internet activities, after a California federal court dismissed the suit for a third and final time.
Plaintiffs failed to convince the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that the Menlo Park, Calif.-based social media giant was contractually bound to not track the internet activities of logged-out Facebook users ( In re Facebook Internet Tracking Litig. , 2017 BL 414264, N.D. Cal., No. 5:12-md-02314-EJD, 11/17/17 ).
The multidistrict litigation consolidated in California had gone through two previous rounds of dismissal motions from Facebook, where the district court dismissed the majority of the plaintiffs’ Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and state statutory claims. But the court allowed the plaintiffs to amend their complaint. The court this time dismissed the litigation with prejudice, meaning the plaintiffs are precluded from amending and refiling their complaint.
The named plaintiffs were seeking to represent a class of every active U.S. Facebook users from April 2010 through a later date determined after discovery. The first amended complaint said the potential class could number 150 million Facebook users. The number of daily active Facebook users in U.S. and Canada in the spring of 2010 was approximately 82 million, according to Bloomberg data.
Facebook’s Associate General Counsel Natalie Naugle told Bloomberg Law in a Nov. 20 email that the company is pleased with the court’s ruling.
Bartimus Frickleton Robertson PC and Kiesel Law LLP represented the plaintiffs. Cooley LLP represented Facebook.
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Full text of the court's order is available at http://src.bna.com/umu.
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