Bloomberg Law: Privacy & Data Security brings you single-source access to the expertise of Bloomberg Law’s privacy and data security editorial team, contributing practitioners,...
By Jimmy H. Koo
Facebook Inc. has received final federal court approval of changes to its data collection practices to settle class claims that it systemically scanned users’ private messages ( Campbell v. Facebook, Inc. , 2015 BL 290958, N.D. Cal., No. 13-cv-05996-PJH, 8/18/17 ).
The case shows that companies such as Facebook that assert they will keep customer communications private ultimately may face consumer demands that they keep such promises, and litigation if the descriptions of how their communications will be monitored aren’t accurate.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Aug. 18 approved the no-fault settlement, including up to $3.89 million in plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees.
The case arose from allegations that Facebook scanned users’ private messages and, if a message contained a link to a website, treated it as a “like” for the linked page.
Under the settlement agreement, Facebook won’t collect demographic and other personal information associated with sharing links in Facebook messages. The company agreed to tell consumers that it uses “tools to identify and store links shared in messages, including a count of the number of times links are shared.”
Establishing links to websites to show Facebook’s clout with potential advertisers is an essential part of the social media giant’s business model. Facebook had 1.9 billion global unique desktop visitors in June, according to Bloomberg data.
Although the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company won’t have to pay money as a part of the settlement, nothing in the agreement prevents subscribers from suing for monetary damages.
Facebook didn’t respond to Bloomberg BNA’s email request for comments.
Facebook is represented by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP and Carney Bates & Pulliam Pllc represented the proposed settlement class.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jimmy H. Koo in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald Aplin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Full text of the court approval is available at http://src.bna.com/rPV.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)