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Matt Campbell Lawsuit Against Facebook Advances

1 min read

Little Rock lawyer and blogger Matt Campbell’s lawsuit against Facebook cleared a big hurdle this week when a federal judge in California granted in part a motion to certify it as a class action.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton ruled on Wednesday that Campbell’s suit accusing Facebook of violating users’ privacy can go forward. Campbell, author of the Blue Hog Report, says Facebook uses information in private messages to target advertising to its users, violating the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act and California’s Invasion of Privacy Act.

His suit also says that Facebook failed to disclose that it scans users’ messages, nor did the social media platform get their permission. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that Facebook tried to hide the practice and that its own employees described the message-scanning practice as “sketchy,” “downright misleading” and contrary to “the understanding of 99.9% of people.”

Judge Hamilton also ordered the sealing of a number of documents in the case, sealing sought by both the plaintiffs (content of plaintiffs’ private correspondence with third parties, for example) and by Facebook (information on Facebook security measures and source code).

The plaintiffs have until June 8 to file an amended complaint, and a court conference is scheduled for June 30.

Facebook found itself uncomfortably in the spotlight earlier this week when it was accused of manipulating news stories on its Trending feed to suppress conservative viewpoints.

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