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Facebook Sued For Violating Wiretap Laws 284

Posted by samzenpus
from the join-the-club dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Facebook is being sued in multiple states for tracking its users even after they logged out of the service. All the lawsuits allege the company violated federal wiretap laws. The most recent lawsuit, filed by a Mississippi woman, says: 'Leading up to September 23, 2011, Facebook tracked, collected, and stored its users’ wire or electronic communications, including but not limited to portions of their internet browsing history even when the users were not logged-in to Facebook. Plaintiff did not give consent or otherwise authorize Facebook to intercept, track, collect, and store her wire or electronic communications, including but not limited to her internet browsing history when not logged-in to Facebook.'"
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Facebook Sued For Violating Wiretap Laws

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  • Dumb Question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 16, 2011 @06:50PM (#37734096)

    Dumb-question guy here: how can a web site gather users' "internet browsing history even when the users were not logged-in to Facebook"?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 16, 2011 @07:01PM (#37734192)

    The thing is that this tracking depends on cookies, which are actually sent by the browsers themselves (as per the HTTP spec). Of course I haven't analyzed all the Javascript so I'm not sure, but Javascript does not have the capability to perform any time of interception of network traffic. Of course, I don't know what Flash, etc. could do.

    I highly doubt that there is any "unlawful interception" going on here and this is likely just more waste of taxpayer money because we, the technically apt, have to live with stupid politicians.

  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Sunday October 16, 2011 @07:26PM (#37734326)

    If new laws are needed to cover emerging technologies, they should be considered by appropriate legislative and regulatory bodies. Then people can comply with the law or face the consequences. But if laws can be twisted to cover any behavior we don't like, it makes it difficult for anyone to be sure they are in compliance with the law.

    But how can you know if a new law is required to cover a new technology without a judicial test of the existing laws? That is what the courts are designed to do: test and apply the laws to a given situation. Let this go to trial. If the courts shoot down the lawsuit due to these laws not applying, then you can go ahead and get new legislation passed.

Disclaimer: "These opinions are my own, though for a small fee they be yours too." -- Dave Haynie