Facebook is now facing a class action suit over more allegations that it has monitored users’ private messages. The lawsuit alleges that when users send another website’s link by means of a private message, Facebook scans it in order to profile the web activity of the sender.
The suit also alleges that Facebook intercepts messages on a systematic basis to store user data and in turn profits by sharing that data with data aggregators, marketers and advertisers.
The social media site has called the allegations without merit. The site added that it would defend itself vigorously.
The lawsuit is requesting the greater of $100 a day for each day the alleged violations occurred or $10,000 each for users that were affected.
The lawsuit, which was filed early in the week, cites research that it says found that Facebook reviews the contents of private messages of its users for purposes unrelated to the ease of message transmission.
The suit says users believe they are communicating on a social service free of surveillance and likely will reveal facts about themselves or others that would not otherwise be revealed if the content were known to be monitored.
In other words, said the suit, Facebook is positioned to acquire parts of the profiles of its users that likely are not available to other data collectors.
However, some have come forward and defended Facebook. One security expert wrote in one of this blogs that if Facebook did not examine links that users shared privately Facebook would not be carrying out its duty to care for its users.
The expert said if the links are not properly checked and scanned there is a real risk that scams, span, malicious URLs and phishing attacks could infect the computers of recipients with their malware.
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