By know everyone likely knows that many of our favorite online services and digital gadgets are harvesting data about our everyday lives that will be sold to the highest-bidding advertiser. One man (and several lawyers) are now fighting back.
Seattle resident Matthew Vickery has just filed a class-action lawsuit against Facebook, saying that the company tracks, stores and distributes personal information without the knowledge or consent of users.
According to court documents prepared by Seattle firm Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson, Facebook's data-mining policies are in direct violation of the Electronic Communication Privacy Act and the Wiretap Act.
Leading up to September 23, 2011, Facebook tracked, collected and stored its users' wire and electronic communications, including but not limited to portions of their Internet browsing history even when the users were not logged-in to Facebook.com. Plaintiff did not give consent or otherwise authorize Facebook to intercept, track, collect and store his wire and electronic communications, including but not limited to his Internet browsing history when not logged-in to Facebook.com.
Facebook has responded to the suit saying that the complaint is "without merit" and promising to "fight it vigorously."
The case has major implications to other social-networking sites as well, because Facebook is far from the only company accused of such data mining practices.