SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook has been sued over allegations it systematically intercepts its users’ private messages on the social network and profits by sharing the data with advertisers and marketers.
When users compose messages that include links to a third-party Web site, Facebook scans the content of the message, follows the link, and searches for information to profile the message-sender’s Web activity, violating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and California privacy and unfair competition laws, according to the suit.
The practice compromises privacy and undermines Facebook’s promise of “unprecedented” security options for its messaging function, two Facebook users said in the complaint filed in federal court in San Jose, Calif.
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