Facebook can track your internet browsing: U.S. judge

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A USA judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Facebook accusing it of tracking users' internet usage between April 22, 2010, and September 26, 2011, regardless if they've logged out of the network. A district judge in California tossed out the case because the plaintiffs failed to show they had a reasonable expectation of privacy, or that they suffered any "realistic" economic harm or loss. The plaintiffs argued that this violated federal and State privacy and wiretapping laws.

The lawsuit revolved around the way Facebook tracks people when they are logged out of the site.

The judge added that the plaintiffs could have taken steps to keep their browsing histories private and failed to show that Facebook illegally "intercepted" or eavesdropped on their communications. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit accused Facebook of using the "Like" buttons integrated into third-party websites to track their online whereabouts.

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While it faces new antitrust scrutiny in Europe, Facebook (FB -1.4%) has notched a victory in a privacy battle in the U.S. This, on the contrary is kind of subjected to confusion as in 2014 Facebook started the use of web browsing data for presenting targeted advertising which are internet based, explaining the advertising one sees of the products on Facebook that were being searched on the browser earlier.

The same judge dismissed a variant of the same case back in 2015. It is true that "Like" buttons can be embedded on external websites, and when a person clicks on one, the web browser relays that information to Facebook and the server that is hosting the site.

Unfortunately, the plaintiffs can't go to court again with privacy invasion and wiretapping claims, but what they could do is pursue a renewed breach of contract claim, according to Davila.

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