Facebook sued for $15 billion over alleged privacy violations

By on May 18, 2012, 11:30 AM

While it may be a joyous day for Facebook over on Wall Street, things aren’t looking as peachy in the courtroom as the social network has been hit with a lawsuit to the tune of $15 billion. Levied by law firm Stewarts Law US, the complaint combines 21 individual lawsuits dating back to 2011 into one amended class-action suit where it claims Facebook violated user privacy by purportedly tracking web usage.

The lawsuit was filed in a Federal Court in San Jose, California and cites violation of the US Wiretap Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Stored Communications Act, among others. The US Wiretap Act allocates damages for each user up to $100 per day per violation, or up to $10,000. Specifically, the suit claims that Facebook is tracking users even after they log out of the social network.

“This is not just a damages action, but a groundbreaking digital-privacy rights case that could have wide and significant legal and business implications,” David Straite, a Stewarts Law partner told Bloomberg via e-mail.

If this all sounds a bit too familiar, you’d be exactly right. This isn’t the first time that someone has sued Facebook on the grounds of web tracking. In October 2011, Mississippi resident Brooke Rutledge filed a virtually identical 17-page suit shortly after 42-year-old Kansas lawyer John Graham did the same thing, just to name a few.

The law firm is additionally investigating if it would be possible to include non-US residents in the class-action suit. As of writing, Facebook has yet to publically comment on the matter.

User Comments: 12

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amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Uncle Sam can see anything he wants, whenever he wants.

Guest said:

I wonder what will this 15 billion be used for?

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

<p>I wonder what will this 15 billion be used for?</p>


Guest said:

I would love to see them lose this case. Tracker cookies should be illegal.

Guest said:

I wonder what will this 15 billion be used for?

To pay the lawyers. The ones actually affected will get about a quarter for coffee.

Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Funny timing on these lawsuits and bad press Facebook is receiving at the last minute, just as its IPO is launching. Greed, financial interest and opportunity....

Tygerstrike said:

The timing on this class action suit is suspect to say the least. IDK how the previous cases were ruled on, but if FB was aquitted then this case will also fall by the wayside. Once again I will state, you have no privacy on the internet. Someone somewhere is logging everything you do. From the sites you visit to what you write. Untill ppl learn this simple truth we will continue to see frivilous lawsuits like this.

Guest said:

it's all about greed in this corporate world. any and everyone wants a piece of your ass if you are valuable. sickening indeed.

Guest said:

and what were the damages that the people incurred for such a violation. Did someone wish them a happy birthday?

Guest said:

15 billion will be used by uncle sam to buy that information from Facebook!

Guest said:

Facebook got faceplanted yesterday when their IPO did absolutely nothing.

Guest said:

Further proof that besides being a complete waste of time and energy, Facebook and all those other so called "social media" are a dangerous place to be.

How is it that people think that it is critical that they share every single aspect of their lives the moment it happens? I don't need to know that you just burped or passed gas.

Pick up a phone, write a letter. It's much safer.

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