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Facebook Might Owe You $10,000

by on May 22, 2012

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From VentureBeat:

A Facebook user is suing Facebook for violation of privacy issues. As a class-action suit, the amount the complainant believes Facebook should owe is $15 billion.

It’s sometimes scary to think about just how much of your personal information Facebook holds. Too much, apparently, for a Facebook user who is suing the company in a class-action suit over violating its users’ privacy. Facebook is being accused of tracking data on its users even after users have logged out of the site.

“This is not just a damages action, but a groundbreaking digital-privacy rights case that could have wide and significant legal and business implications,” said David Straite, a partner at Stewarts Law, in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.

This lawsuit, filed on the 17th in San Jose, California, includes 21 other lawsuits also accusing Facebook of invading user privacy. According to the filing, by the U.S. Wiretap Act every Facebook user is owed up to $10,000 for over $100 per count of violation. Between Facebook’s over 800 million users, that’s somewhere in the ballpark of $15 billion that Facebook would owe. Considering Facebook’s impressive IPO, it’s… probably not entirely out of the realm of possibility, but $15 billion is a hard figure to swallow.

Facebook just began trading publicly on NASDAQ last Friday. It hasn’t gone as great as it was supposed to with it’s stock price going from $38 to $34

To defend Facebook, we all sign a agreement with the company knowing full well that it is very possible for Facebook to intrude into our personal lives and when you give such a big outlet so much power, do you honestly expect them to follow through 100 percent? This is not an excuse if it turns out that FB violated privacy rights but you take a risk of being intruded upon by starting an account with them, and it’s something that you should be aware of before engaging in Facebook fun.

It’s very unlikely that this Facebook user wins this case but if they do, I would be very grateful for the $10,000. But, I predict that if it ever gets to this stage it would either take way too much authenticating to receive your award which would make it unlikely that you get it in the first place or FB will give away a bunch of coupons to food chains and clothing stores or they’ll give away the $10,000 in Facebook credits. There’s no way in hell that FB is going to go through the hassle of sending 10,000 dollars to all 800 million users.

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