Judge refuses to dismiss lawsuit against Facebook for scanning private messages

On December 23, 2014, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California denied Facebook's bid to dismiss a class action lawsuit, accusing the company of violating user privacy by scanning the content of private messages for advertising purposes. Facebook alleges that the scanning of private messages is covered by an exception under the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act for interceptions by service providers, occurring in the ordinary course of business. Judge Hamilton said that Facebook had "not offered a sufficient explanation of how the challenged practice falls within the ordinary course of its business." Judge ruled that “Facebook’s unwillingness to offer any details regarding its targeted advertising practice prevents the court from being able to determine whether the specific practice challenged in this case should be considered ‘ordinary.’”

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