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Privacy Law

Lawyer Sues Facebook, Says Tracking Cookie Violates Wiretap Laws, Seeks Class Action Status

Posted Oct 6, 2011 5:44 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A lawyer and Facebook user has sued the social networking site in federal court in Kansas, contending that a tracking cookie violates wiretap laws.

Lead plaintiff John Graham, a 42-year-old attorney in Leawood, Kan., also alleges in the suit that the cookie violates state consumer-protection law, reports the Associated Press.

Filed yesterday, the suit seeks class-action status.

Facebook declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said in a previous statement after the latest cookies controversy arose that it was not storing any data it shouldn't, the news agency reports.

A similar suit was filed late last month in federal court in San Jose, Calif, as news articles published by Bloomberg and PC Magazine detail.

The cookies at issue allegedly can track user activity online even after individuals log out of Facebook, the articles note.

"Even if you are logged out, Facebook still knows and can track every page you visit," said blogger and hacker Nik Cubrilovic in a blog post cited by PC magazine. "The only solution is to delete every Facebook cookie in your browser, or to use a separate browser for Facebook interactions."

Additional and related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Can Gay Users Unintentionally Out Themselves to Facebook Advertisers?"

Bits (New York Times): "As ‘Like’ Buttons Spread, So Do Facebook’s Tentacles"

Consumer Reports: "Lawmakers and privacy advocates call for FTC probe of Facebook"

Financial Times: "Facebook media apps raise privacy concerns"

Politico: "Lawmakers want FTC probe of Facebook"

Southern California Public Radio: "Big Brother is back, and this time he’s in your phone and Facebook account"

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