back to article Facebook absolved for exposing user info to advertisers

A federal judge has gutted a lawsuit filed against Facebook for allegedly leaking users' personal information to advertisers on the grounds that they didn't suffer specific injuries and the leak didn't run afoul of wiretap and computer fraud statutes. The lawsuit, filed in federal Court in San Jose, California, last year, …


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  1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Not surprising

    After all - the Judge has a fine Wikipedia profile - I wonder if he's on Facebook too?

  2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    In other words..

    .. the claim was thrown out on technicalities, not because it didn't happen.

    Now there is a surprise..

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge
      Thumb Down


      If you call there not actually being a case for damages to answer a technicality ("...plaintiffs fail to state a claim for breach of contract"), then yes this was a technicality.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Personal privacy is an asset which is priceless to me... not valueless.

    However, personal privacy is valueless to Facebook.That's why I don't use Facebook.

    And I think that's probably where the judge got confused.

    But if you're a Facebook user concerned about privacy intrusion, you've already made a fairly profound error of judgment.

    1. FozzyBear Silver badge

      and that Ladies and Gentlemen

      is the best summarisation of social network sites and privacy I have read to date

  4. Christoph Silver badge

    Facebook fail

    What, they didn't actually expose much personal information? Drat - they'll have to rejig their systems to fix that.

  5. Tom Maddox Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    In before the Facebook hate

    If they had won the suit, it would have been akin to me suing for bodily injury someone who was driving recklessly yet did me no actual harm. Irresponsible? Yes. Harmful? No.

    Bring the downvotes! BRING THEM, I SAY!

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge


      Your analogy was way better than mine.


  6. Neoc

    Law is behind the time.

    In pre-Web2.0 times (i.e., before internet business really took off) the only time you realised a company had borked your personal details was when you were defrauded. In other words, the *damages* were the reason you knew a company had f*cked up.

    In these days of computer forensics, and with Penetration experts looking over the shoulder of internet companies and social websites, you tend to find out about the breaches *before* the bad guys can do something with the data they have acquired. But because a third-party was vigilant, the companies which dropped the ball get off scott-free because the aggrieved clients are warned *by a third party* of the breach *before* the damages can occur.

    Way to go.

  7. Twilight

    in favor of corps yet again...

    Sigh. What a surprise - the courts side with the big corps again. This sort of case is very hard to bring without a sympathetic judge as it's nearly impossible to state "any real harm". It's easy to specify likely harm but pretty much impossible to give specifics without getting the internal records of the advertisers that Facebook leaked the data to. :(

    1. Steve Gill

      Maybe not

      If the clients get warned before any damages can occur isn't that a good thing?

      It sounds like you would prefer damages occurred just so companies can be sued.

      1. Neoc

        Don't stop thinking at the "obvious" spot.

        I said the client gets warned *before* damages occur... I dfid not say that said damages will *not* occur.

        If in 3 months' time the client's identity gets used for Fraud, it gets harder for the client to prove that the FB breach (for example) was the cause of the Identity Fraud. And they can't do anything *before* damages occur because "no harm has incurred".

        In other words, you get shafted both ways.

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