Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Ninth Circuit Upholds Facebook Settlement in Message Scanning User Privacy Violations Lawsuit

Ninth Circuit Upholds Facebook Settlement in Message Scanning User Privacy Violations Lawsuit

At a March 3rd hearing, the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals upheld a class action settlement resolving claims over Facebook’s allegedly inappropriate collection of data from users’ private messages and then profits by improperly sharing that information with third parties in violation of U.S. privacy laws. The court rejected an argument made by a single class member objector who claimed the deal was of negligible value to Facebook users.

According to Law360 (subscription), the three-judge appeals panel said “a lower court had been right to approve the settlement over the objections of class member Anna St. John.” Ms. St. John is an attorney at the so-called Center for Class Action Fairness, a group known to lobby against class action lawsuits in general. In her objection to the settlement, St. John argued that it only provided “worthless injunctive relief” in requiring Facebook to post new disclosures about its data collection policies. In contradiction of that argument, the appeals panel concluded that the disclosure was of measurable valuable to users.

The settlement deal requires that Facebook post language within the help section of its U.S. site indicating that it “uses tools to identify and store links shared in messages, including a count of the number of times links are shared” and resolves allegations the social networking giant took data from website links users shared in personal and private messages and used it to generate targeted advertising on users’ feeds.

Contact a Facebook Message Scanning Class Action Attorney

On December 30, 2013, Facebook users, represented by Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel, filed a nationwide class action lawsuit alleging that Facebook collects certain private data in users’ private messages and profits by sharing that information with third parties.

If you wish to report any alleged privacy violations by Facebook or other internet companies, please feel free to contact us. Any information you provide will be treated as confidential and there is no charge or obligation for our review of your complaint.

Learn more about the Facebook Message Scanning Class Action.