Facebook Accused of Reading & Selling Our Private Messages

You know how we’re always complaining about Facebook and its privacy settings? Well, they may have finally taken it too far.

Michael Hurley and Matthew Campbell filled a suit against the social networking giant on December 30, alleging it “has systematically violated consumers’ privacy by reading its users’ personal, private Facebook messages without their consent.”


Not only are the two users accusing Facebook of scanning private messages and selling their findings to advertisers, but also of going into pages linked within messages and auto-liking that page.

Boundaries, Facebook!

A spokesperson for the company told The Huffington Post, “The complaint is without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously."

Hurley and Campbell are asking for Facebook to pay “$100 a day for each day of violation or $10,000” for each member of the class action lawsuit.

Some Internet security experts believe it’s a good idea for sites like Facebook to scan our private messages. You know, to protect us from Nigerian princes or something. Graham Cluley wrote, "[I]f you didn’t properly scan and check links, there’s a very real risk that spam, scams, phishing attacks, and malicious URLs designed to infect recipients’ computers with malware could run rife.”

OK, fine. I guess I’m down with not spreading computer viruses, but really, don’t most people nowadays know not to open suspicious links in private messages?

And if the allegations are true that Facebook has been doing more than “keeping us safe from malware” and has been using private communication for its own profit? Well then that’s pretty darn uncool.

Do you think Facebook should read private messages in the name of cyber security?


Image via babyben/Flickr

Read More >