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Facebook Privacy Suit Seeks $15 Billion

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the timing-entirely-a-coincidence-i'm-sure dept.

Facebook 92

An anonymous reader writes "The folks at Facebook may be focusing on their IPO today, but a complaint filed in federal court has given them something else to think about. The filing consolidates 21 separate but similar cases and alleges Facebook invaded users privacy by tracking their browsing behavior even after they had logged out of the site. The claim seeks $15 billion in damages. 'If the claimants are successful in their case against Facebook, they could prevent Menlo Park from collecting the huge amount of data it collects about its users to serve ads back to them. Like the previous lawsuits, Facebook is once again being accused of violating the Federal Wiretap Act, which provides statutory damages per user of $100 per day per violation, up to a maximum per user of $10,000. The complaint also asserts claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Stored Communications Act, various California Statutes and California common law.'"

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92 comments

looks like someone (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046697)

denounced citizenship just in time...

Re:looks like someone (0)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047939)

denounced citizenship just in time...

Did you mean "renounced"?

Re:looks like someone (0)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048583)

denounced citizenship just in time...

Did you mean "renounced"?

That depends on his opinion of the US.

Re:looks like someone (1)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048739)

Fair enough, but if he meant what he wrote, it was entirely off-topic and should be modded down.

I assumed it just was a lame reference to Ed Saverin, in which case "renounced" is the right word.

Re:looks like someone (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40050967)

I assumed it was just a pun and quite a funny one at that.

Re:looks like someone (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40049117)

And I am seriously asking myself if I am in the right field. $15 billion for a privacy violation? Damn.

Re:looks like someone (1)

binkzz (779594) | more than 2 years ago | (#40049887)

And I am seriously asking myself if I am in the right field. $15 billion for a privacy violation? Damn.

Not a privacy violation, billions of privacy violations.

Damnit! (5, Funny)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046701)

Now I won't get my $15 coupon off a Facebook branded hoodie as part of a settlement.

I guess I should have created a Facebook account.

Not quite (2)

Solandri (704621) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048187)

The lawyers will take 33% ($5 billion), so you'd only get a $10 coupon.

Re:Damnit! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048755)

Now I won't get my $15 coupon off a Facebook branded hoodie as part of a settlement.

I guess I should have created a Facebook account.

Sign up today and get a free hoodie, Arizona iced tea, bag of skittles and a trip to Sanford Florida!

Lawsuits for everyone. (4, Insightful)

simplexion (1142447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046709)

If you want privacy, don't sign up to Facebook.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046773)

Even if you don't sign up to Facebook, they are tracking you because of their little F icon and/or scripts/cookies are being loaded up by your web browser on any webpage you are visiting.

So your advice is insufficient. The only way to make sure is to nuke them from orbit. i.e. increase the damage and scope of the lawsuit to non-users.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1, Troll)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046837)

Even if you don't sign up to Facebook, they are tracking you because of their little F icon and/or scripts/cookies are being loaded up by your web browser on any webpage you are visiting.

Nobody says you have to click the little F icon!

Really. Facebook is offering a free service here. No one is forcing you to sign up, and even if you do sign up, no one is forcing you to reveal personal details. If they can be charged under the federal wiretap statute, then really no website that uses cookies is safe. The best solution is just to not use Facebook, rather than ask the government to twist the law to fit what Facebook is doing.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046889)

Nobody says you have to click the little F icon!

Not what the GP was saying. The implication was that your browser merely loading that icon sent enough data back to Facebook for them to track you. Which in a way is true, it does technically send some data back to Facebook (in that it alerts them that someone at that IP with that browser visited that particular F icon, and maybe others before it). And it allows them to track you and do Evil Things(tm) with this data much in the same way that the GP probably believes that computer screens are two-way and are trying to whisper orders from the government into their ears while they sleep.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (2)

pkinetics (549289) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046933)

And that's why I installed the Disconnect plugin for Chrome and Firefox.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

hey_popey (1285712) | more than 2 years ago | (#40050953)

I am curious: do you intend to install a Firefox plugin for each one of the 900+ tracking cookies that Ghostery references? [mozilla.org]

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (3, Interesting)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046961)

The issue isn't that they know your browser loaded that page, it's that since so many websites use that F, and use it even in so-called secure portions of the site, it is trivial for Facebook's automated systems to create a profile for you and figure out what your exact browsing habits are. Since Facebook is already known to have the back end to handle this data and no reason at all not to tabulate it, it stands to reason that they are using it to their advantage.

Twitter does the exact same thing with the badging, but they don't really have the infrastructure to tie it all together, which is probably why nobody's complaining about them. However, they could easily sell this data to someone else with the resources to leverage it.

As for two-way computer screens... they actually exist, even though most people prefer the cheaper, more common, monitor-with-a-camera-embedded-in-the-frame version.

The government stuff... well, you just have to wonder: which government? Or are they ALL doing it? :D

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047263)

Some day, someone can explain to m what's wrong with that. Every ad network in the history of ever has done that, and even so, nobody has suffered a single ill consequence of it... that I know of.

Browsing the web is not really a private activity. Never was, and never will be, unless you go out of your way to make it so. Nothing that Facebook MIGHT be doing with the Like button is new, different, or in any way you can make a cogent argument for, immoral.

This story is about a 15 BILLION DOLLAR fishing expedition. Kill all the lawyers.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (3, Insightful)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047983)

Some day, someone can explain to m what's wrong with that. Every ad network in the history of ever has done that, and even so, nobody has suffered a single ill consequence of it... that I know of.

When your credit rating drops and your insurance premiums rise, because of your browsing patterns, or the post contents, or the risk-profile of your social-network acquaintances, you won't know that this is the reason.

The corporations will only tell you your new lower credit rating, and only tell you that insurance rates went up. No explanation required.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40049461)

Heh, then don't pay them.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40052021)

But then... won't the corporations also increase your credit rating and tell you that your insurance rates went down without your knowledge? To keep a loyal customer from the competition that is analyzing the same data? Business will use the data anyway they can, sometimes in ways that are simply just better for the consumer (ad networks).

When it comes to protecting our own information/data, you are exactly right. The data can be used for both positive and negative effects. We need to be diligent about who is collecting this data and what it is being used for. Is the value I'm receiving, worth the loss of this privacy.

Maybe we should all buy stock in Tor?

-Anonymous Coward

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047767)

Bullshit. *I* have "the infrastructure" to tie together that kind of tracking. So does everyone else, because everyone does it.

Again, this is fud pointed at fb because they're the name of the day.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40049485)

Oh! So you have "the infrastructure" too? Nice, what is your icon you have put on a majority of large sites all over the web.

I call your BS. Facebook pushes for a feature (Like-button) that can and is used for more than the advertised feature. If it only tracked those clicking on it I could care less. But when it tracks everyone else, something is wrong.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#40052813)

Actually... I should admit: I have facebook's image and CDN servers blocked in my browser, so they're not tracking me most of the time :)

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (4, Informative)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046943)

Even if you don't sign up to Facebook, they are tracking you because of their little F icon and/or scripts/cookies are being loaded up by your web browser on any webpage you are visiting.

Nobody says you have to click the little F icon!

Even if you don't click that F icon, they still track you.

Blocking referer on third-party requests helps (and should be mandatory in all decent browsers! (ext for FF [mozilla.org] )), but really, unless you adblock all of {facebook,fb,fbcdn}.{com,net} and probably more, Facebook will get a lot of data about you and your browsing patterns even if you don't use it.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

w.hamra1987 (1193987) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047385)

that's why firefox has this nice addon called "ghostery". even better yet, if you don't mind creating exceptions for every new website you visit, "request policy" along with "ghostery" can completely kill this method of tracking, and i find it much saner than using "noscript".

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047793)

and yet , I find it easier to simply whitelist those half dozen sites I actually need scripts to run on. All others are blocked by defualt so Facebook/others aren't the problem everyone makes it out to be if you follow a "Deny All" policy by default. Sure I've encountered a few websites so borked they require scripts and usually, I have little to no reason to stay/return in that case because their content is worthless to me then breathing. Sorry fools but if you insist on scripts for every god damn thing on your page, then I'm leaving and never coming back for "In Your Face" shit.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048011)

It's not just about scripts.

Simply loading the little F icon/image from facebook.com gives them your IP address and a pretty good fingerprint of your browser, as part of the HTTP request.

Turning off scripts is not the solution. You need to keep prevent your browser from making any request to a site that you don't want to track you.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048089)

Just because its free doesn't mean they don't have to follow wiretap laws or privacy laws.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047243)

Block them at your router. Solved.

Tor for everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047703)

"Even if you don't sign up to Facebook, they are tracking you because of their little F icon and/or scripts/cookies are being loaded up by your web browser on any webpage you are visiting."

I assume you've never heard of Tor, and of browsing websites with cookies/javascript disabled.. noscript/torbutton/https everywhere installed, all "plugins" disabled, and through a secure web proxy like Startpage. Go ahead, exit nodes, sniff my encrypted traffic! Facebook/Twitter and other sites tracking you mean nothing when you're just an exit node through Tor, up one day and down the next and replaced by another.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047799)

Even if you don't sign up to Facebook, they are tracking you because of their little F icon and/or scripts/cookies are being loaded up by your web browser on any webpage you are visiting.

This is true: in addition to not signing up, you have to not USE their site. That means not loading the "F icon", not running any of their scripts, and so on.

I don't have much sympathy for people who use Facebook in ANY way, and then complain about their privacy. Don't use them.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048283)

I hope they get NAILED! $15billion isn't even enough, given the slimy way that Zuckerberg and his little band of upper-middle-class geniuses have created the meme that privacy is not available, even when you say it is, or when it's requested. Z and his bunch of cowboy insiders just made their Billions, now blow the rest of Facebook right out of the water. What we need are transparent, open, social networks that are not owned by VC rabble, and Asberger-prone inventors who want to live in their own little world. The Internet has been shaped by too many of the latter types. It's time to get back on track.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048801)

Doesn't Google do the same thing on any website with an embedded YouTube video or AdSense advertisement?

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40049345)

Adsense is set by the owner of the site with keywords. For example; i run a music blog, i set my key words to be music, alternative rock, and anything associated with it which will determine what ads get placed.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

kermidge (2221646) | more than 2 years ago | (#40049349)

Ghostery (http://www.ghostery.com/) is your friend. It can block the web bugs and such. Works fine in Opera and Firefox.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40050305)

Work well in Safari too, but I find it somehow very amusing that the Ghostery web site has big 'follow us on Twitter' and 'friend us on Facebook' buttons on the front.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

kermidge (2221646) | more than 2 years ago | (#40050397)

Missed that; what a stitch. Almost makes sense, in a back-handed way. Good to know re Safari. Haven't tried it in Chrome 'cuz I haven't looked at it for a while.

That is what firewall/host file/rules are for (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 2 years ago | (#40049871)

All facebook domain I know of are redirected to 127.0.0.1. Sometimes that means I domn't understand immediately why some stuff don't work, but it is an easy price to pay to not be tracked.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

zlives (2009072) | more than 2 years ago | (#40053003)

collusion is pretty scary/cool addin

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40054691)

Adblock Plus with the Social Widgets filter. Problem solved. https://monzta.maltekraus.de/adblock_social.txt [maltekraus.de]

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046805)

As much as I'd like to see Suckerbeg etc take it in the shorts, I have to agree with you. If you don't want to get bit by an alligator, stay out of the fucking swamp.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047087)

This is a nice analogy, because alligators don't actually stay in the swamp, or any very predictable place aside from usually being near inland water. Now, you could change it to "stay far away from the fucking swamp," and you'd be closer. Problem is, when you go back to the other side of the analogy, that's basically saying, "if you want privacy, stay off the fucking internet," which is becoming less and less of an option in our society.

Just remember that alligators aren't mindless biting machines; they look out for their own safety too, and will avoid attacking potential prey if it's too dangerous. In the same way, Facebook will be more or less intrusive depending on how vigilant we are about calling them out on it. Public scrutiny is dangerous.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046823)

Maybe we need some form of loser pays to limit frivolous lawsuits.

Complaining that FB uses its users concerning privacy is like complaining that water is wet. That's their business model and it's your responsibility to research it ahead of time or delete your account when it become onerous.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048385)

There is plenty of precedent, at least in the US, for the courts awarding 2x or more costs to the defendant, or requiring the plaintiff to post a contempt bond before filing any other lawsuit, when the plaintiff files a frivolous suit.

The tricky bit is determining what is truly frivolous.

Re:determining what is truly frivolous. (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048841)

I'm torn here.

I think Facebook could stand a good whack in their sails over Privacy, and have a judge make it stick.

Meanwhile Oracle's lawsuit is pure platypus shit (more expensive than horse shit, and more exotic) precisely because the legal system currently has no proportional-metric penalty on the size of suits. "Let's sue for 15 billion! Let's make Defense counterprove each and every one of 87 points down, and we only spend $3,000,000 on legal fees."

Re:determining what is truly frivolous. (1)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#40049183)

...the legal system currently has no proportional-metric penalty on the size of suits. "Let's sue for 15 billion! Let's make Defense counterprove each and every one of 87 points down, and we only spend $3,000,000 on legal fees."

A lawsuit does not have a "size" in terms of damages, until damages are actually awarded. Until then, the size of the suit is determined by its costs.

If you are sued, spend $100K defending the suit, the judge dismisses the suit as frivolous, and the judge awards you 2x your defense costs ($200K)...that seems more than fair.

If you don't agree, you can sue for whatever other damages (loss of business, etc) you may have incurred as a result of the lawsuit.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of damages claimed by the plaintiff.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (5, Interesting)

Dan1701 (1563427) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046877)

This is interesting because it may finally set limits as to how aggressively a company may collect and utilise data on users. Up to now Facebook has been a private company and hasn't needed to exploit the vast treasure trove of user data it has. The IPO changes everything now; I do wonder why on earth they did it, as they surely didn't need the money, but now Facebook will be in thrall to its shareholders.

From now on, the shareholders will want to maximise profits. The one thing Facebook has that it can exploit is the user data. Up to now, they haven't really maximised the earning potential of this data; when they do they'll be treading a very, very fine line between profit and annoying users and worse still will not easily be able to tell when they've gone too far. I would wager that they're going to overdo it, and force the state to step in and set legal limits on them.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047251)

This is interesting because it may finally set limits as to how aggressively a company may collect and utilise data on users.

Or not. IANAL, but I can't imagine how this case has a chance. Browser tracking is everywhere, you should assume you are being tracked; the only reason for this suit is that FB has lots of cash.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048989)

Zuck has majority vote of shareholders, so it is not like everything is going to change.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40049947)

Billions today, vs impending crash in the next few years. Which would you take?

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046891)

Well the idea that one should just avoid the service is reasonable. However, the conditions under which people signed up may have shifted AFTER they signed up. The privacy situation at Facebook started shifting a LOT and often a few years back. So under the conditions promised, one might have signed up and then they changed those conditions unbeknownst to you.

The idea of court action is that the person has promised something and then changed what they're doing. So if I guarantee you privacy and you sign up for a great free service, and later discover that it was basically the old bait and switch, then you have good reason to be upset.

So the idea that if you don't like alligators you should avoid swamps is simplistic; if you were promised no swamps (cuz you were trying to avoid them because you don't like alligators) and then you find yourself getting eaten alive, I say you have cause.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047773)

However, the conditions under which people signed up may have shifted AFTER they signed up.

Well, perhaps, but why in the name of sanity would anyone sign up for a site that makes you agree to something like, "We can change these terms in any way we want at any point, and there's jack you can do about it?"

If I said to you, "Hey, I'll wash your car every week for 5 bucks, but I have the right to change these terms at any point in the future, you are bound by that change, have no right to withdraw from this deal, and you cannot change the deal, only I can", would you agree? When that allows me to jack the rate up to $1000/week, and you must keep paying me that rate if I keep washing your car? If you'd agree to let me change terms however the hell I want, you'd deserve what you get just for being a moron.

Somehow, when computers enter the picture, people seem to lose any and all ability to think. I do not understand this. When did people become so dumb as to agree to something like agreements only one party can change, in any way, at any time?

Whatever. (3, Interesting)

xyourfacekillerx (939258) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047003)

If you want privacy, don't sign up to Facebook.

Funny how when Company XYZ does something that offends the privacy concerns of just about everyone, some slashdot user who likes Company XYZ shrugs and dismisses the ethical, moral, and possibly legal infractions under the non-argument "caveat emptor".

Hell, more often than not hackers theft of private computer data (err, sorry "duplication") and re-posting of it to public (sorry, "whistleblowing") is celebrated: You can steal from Company XYZ, but you can't steal from User 1990235630 ? Government ABC shouldn't track my data, but User 12363247 and Company XYZ(2) can ?

Sorry, but "don't use it" just isn't good enough. Anymore than government ABC shouldn't access my data, neither should these companies be doing what I understand them NOT to be allowed to do. The terms of service is two ways, mind you. It's not a contract just for my behavior. It's a contract for theirs. It establishes a mutual understanding of what we can and (most often) cannot do to each other and each other's stuff. These companies don't hold up their end of the bargain as expressed to us during the initial agreement, so "don't use it" doesn't place culpability of my privacy violations squarely on my shoulders.

I wish the majority ethical consensus on Slashdot would get just a little more consistent across these types of stories.

Re:Whatever. (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048357)

Funny how when Company XYZ does something that offends the privacy concerns of just about everyone, some slashdot user who likes Company XYZ shrugs and dismisses the ethical, moral, and possibly legal infractions under the non-argument "caveat emptor".

I see the problem here. You categorize it incorrectly. It's not a non-argument, it's a solution. A boycott would indeed be effective just as it is for any other business that sells to the general public.

That's just it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047331)

I don't sign up for it. I don't have a facebook account.

Yet when I accidentally visit their main site (facebook.com), I get (without logging in) a tracking cookie on my PC. Even though I have ALL cookies turned off in chrome.

Explain to me where I signed off my privacy rights. Is visiting a site the same thing as signing an TOS these days?

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047395)

If you want freedom, don't live in America.

Yeah... "if you want X don't Y" statements don't really move any discussions further.

Re:Lawsuits for everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40051651)

Your naivete is amusing. You think Facebook isn't tracking you too, just because you don't have an account? CAPTCHA: "Juries."

$10,000 * 21 = $15b??? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046751)

So if the law they are suing under allows a maximum of $10,000 per claimant then how did they ever arrive at $15 billion split between just 21 people?

Re:$10,000 * 21 = $15b??? (1)

anglico (1232406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046775)

I haven't read the article yet but my guess is 21 cases include multiple people per case.

Re:$10,000 * 21 = $15b??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046781)

$15E9 / $10E3 = 1.5E6 people in the class

Re:$10,000 * 21 = $15b??? (1)

mycroft16 (848585) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046785)

21 cases, not people. Each case may represent hundreds of thousands of people. This final case is grouping all 21 of those together. The $10,000 is the maximum damage allowed under law per person, not per case.

Re:$10,000 * 21 = $15b??? (1)

ark1 (873448) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046807)

It's 21 cases, we don't know how many people could benefit. Worst case it is 21 people in which case : $10,000 * 21 people + Lawyers fees = $15b

Re:$10,000 * 21 = $15b??? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047217)

So if the law they are suing under allows a maximum of $10,000 per claimant then how did they ever arrive at $15 billion split between just 21 people?

Its not split between 21 people. It amends and consolidates 21 previously-separate lawsuits; its a class action where the class is "all Facebook users" (or, more specifically, all people who were Facebook users during any portion of the period of time covered by the lawsuit), which is somewhat more than 21 people.

Google guilty as well? (2)

AaronMK (1375465) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046759)

Wouldn't any company that using tracking cookies be guilty under this definition of wiretapping?

Re:Google guilty as well? (1)

mycroft16 (848585) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046791)

Only if they continue to track your activity after you log out of a site.

Re:Google guilty as well? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047027)

So, considering Google doesn't even respect user privacy selections made in the browser - the answer is yes, Google would be guilty as well?

Re:Google guilty as well? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40049495)

That's not true in the slightest. You can opt out of a tracking cookie (or even tailor which information they collect) here: www.google.com/ads/preferences

Google's privacy policy also states that they do not combine information from your Google account with information from your doubleclick cookie (i.e., the tracking cookie).

Value known (1)

slazzy (864185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046767)

Now that the value is known, there will be a lot of people suing facebook. It will keep their lawyers busy.

a bit much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046777)

so if they are charged with violation of federal wiretap laws, with a max for 10k per person, thats still only 210k where does the other 14 999 790 000 come into it, cant say 500m each in damages for facebook tracking their web activities wtf really, just sounds like an attempt at easy money, probably will drop the case once facebook tries to settle.

Re:a bit much (1)

pkinetics (549289) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046973)

Well duh... The lawyers...

As others have said, a case may incorporate many people.

Was this information intentionally held back? (1)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046793)

This IPO was today. If this was released and "mediatized" yesterday it would have hurt the IPO quite a bit. Now of course, the share holders are stuck with it. Maybe since it helps keep the value of the lawsuit up it helps the case along to boot.

Re:Was this information intentionally held back? (1)

ark1 (873448) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046913)

Its also in the best interest of those who launched the suits to keep everything low profile until past IPO day. This way larger initial amount raised -> higher potential payout if they win/settle.

Re:Was this information intentionally held back? (1)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047137)

That's what I was getting at in my second sentence, but you said it much better :D

Re:Was this information intentionally held back? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047173)

This IPO was today. If this was released and "mediatized" yesterday it would have hurt the IPO quite a bit.

Major media reports of the action (which is a consolidation of actions already filed) were published before trading opened. They probably did hurt the IPO quite a bit.

Slashdot isn't exactly the leading edge of news delivery.

Re:Was this information intentionally held back? (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047369)

From the article:

It’s worth noting that similar cases against Facebook and others filed under the wiretap law have been thrown out because browser cookies are simply not considered wiretaps and plaintiffs have difficulty proving any harm.

So it's unlikely this is going to matter one bit.

Another typical class action lawsuit (3, Informative)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046839)

Damages: $15,000,000,000.00
User compensation: $2,100.00
Lawyer fees: $14,999,997,900.00

Re:Another typical class action lawsuit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046887)

Damages: $15,000,000,000.00
User compensation: $2,100.00
Lawyer fees: $14,999,997,900.00

Number 2 said that the Hollywood talent agency was evil and legit and we made billions! Then he said let's start a law firm. We originally wanted 100 BILLION DOLLARS but Scotty said to not be greedy and to just go for 15 BILLION DOLLARS.

Dr. Evil

So what? (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40049395)

Yes, in the end the plaintiff's may get squat and the layers make a fortune.
However, sometimes the message sent is worth more than the dollars earned.
I doubt that anyone is going to see $15 billion, even the lawyers. However if they manage to hit FB for enough money to make it hurt, then that's going to spark a change in behaviour. The end result is still beneficial to those that don't want to be tracked.

Unlike lawsuits where people are out some monetary amount due to a defective product or physically harmful practice, the message *IS* the answer in this case.

Re:Another typical class action lawsuit (1)

Idetuxs (2456206) | more than 2 years ago | (#40049403)

It's funny this is modded up "Informative"

It's Obvious (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046873)

If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.

Wait...where have I heard that before....

Re:It's Obvious (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 2 years ago | (#40051963)

So... people who don't want others to know they get rectal exams post-age-50-whatever shouldn't have them? That's what the logic says. Not wanting others to know != said thing being wrong, you idiot.

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046925)

"'If the claimants are successful in their case against Facebook, they could prevent Menlo Park from collecting the huge amount of data it collects about its users to serve ads back to them."

And people in hell want ice water.

Gilbert Grape's Anus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046975)

Fleshlight Hulk Hands!

One word my boy... (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047009)

Greed.

seems fair... (3, Funny)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047325)

21 people suing because they were tracked DEFINITELY deserve 15 billion. I could totally see how they would have 715million in damaged each from facebook's egregious actions.

On a serious note, the government sets the value of a life at $6-9 million [nytimes.com] . So facebook could have just kill these people, and save $14.874 billion.

The stock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047389)

What's funny is I don't think the stock will fall because of this. :o

really? (1)

crAckZ (1098479) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047787)

well first off, that is if they are found guilty. i can sue anyone for anything and we are suppose to be innocent until proven guilty. that being said; I hope they get roasted (if they are guilty). not the $25,000 (?) fine Google got either. if these companies don't get bitch slapped then they will keep doing wrong. i am just kind of mad that more users don't stand up for their rights.I am not a FB person and do not have an account anymore. not to stray off topic to much but it seems like it got to the point where you were obligated to "friend" people even they you may not really want to. on the bright side if they do lose they already know where to mail the checks. They have all their information already :)

Saw it coming... (1)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048155)

Ask: Why did the early investors/founders in FB increase the number of shares they floated in the last few days (to 15% of the company, iirc), and radically overprice the IPO instead of pricing for investor excitement/momentum/growth?

That's right. They know that the end game is right now. This is just one reason.

On a related tangent...anyone heard anything about the latest with Paul Ceglia?

Ceglia was briefly represented by a huge global law firm (DLA Piper), claiming a contract with Zuck showed that he owned half the shares of FB. DLA Piper mysteriously dropped off the case. But other lawyers have been happy to pick it up, and then mysteriously drop off the case. Hmmm. What's the definition of "strongarm"? ;)

Other Defendants? (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048593)

What about those guys he stole Facebook from? Are they being sued as well?

nail 'em to the wall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40050089)

$10,000 per user max award.

lets see just how many of those claimed 900+ million users are in fact real, legitimate, and unique persons... 10 grand ought to be enough to entice most of them to file a claim with the courts.

Anyone else thinking about shorting FB on monday? (1)

StormyWeather (543593) | more than 2 years ago | (#40050895)

The stock was obviously only kept up by the bankers because they didn't want egg on their face for a first day stock drop. One has to wonder how much stomach they will have for propping the stock up before it sinks to a more sane value. The smart money should be pulling out because they know this.

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