Facebook reads your private messages and then sells the information for profit. That’s the claim of a new lawsuit filed by Facebook users Matthew Campbell and Michael Hurley. They say that regardless of what the general public believes, the social networking site does regularly intercept, read and store the private messages of its users. Facebook had previously claimed that “absolutely no private information had been exposed,” but the complainants in the case say otherwise.
The complaint reads, in part:
Facebook misleads users into believing that they have a secure, private mechanism for communication—Facebook’s private messaging function—when, in fact, Facebook intercepts and scans the content and treats portions of that content no differently than a public ‘Like’ or post, broadcast openly across the Internet.
Facebook denies the claims made in the lawsuit and says it will “defend itself vigorously.” However, that’s most likely a bunch of baloney. One of the main problems with these types of privacy violations is that the companies behind them always deny any wrongdoing and they have huge and well-funded legal departments to perpetuate what is probably a pack of lies.
If Facebook can make billions from reading our private messages and selling the information for profit, they are going to do so, no matter how many lawsuits are thrown at them. Nothing will stand in the way of Facebook making money: not lawsuits, not public complaints, and not media exposure.
However, the biggest obstacle to Facebook ever changing its devious ways is not Facebook’s legal department, but rather, public apathy. It seems most people just don’t care that their private information is being read, recorded and sold to companies. “So what?” people ask. “I have nothing to hide, so why should I worry?” The problem with this line of thinking is that it assumes all people are altruistic and good when actually, abuses of such privacy violations are already running rampant.
The ACLU says that while you may think you have “nothing to hide,” you probably do. Since you can’t possibly know the laws contained in 27,000 pages of the United States code that define federal crimes, chances are, you may have already committed a federal crime and have no idea you’ve done so.
Abuse of power is also a big concern. We’ve been setting up a system which puts the ability to penalize us for crimes we may not even know we’ve committed into the hands of law enforcement and the government. Abuses of power take place every day, and people suffer from those abuses regularly. In other words, it’s all fun and games until you end up on a no-fly list.
We shouldn’t rely on Mark Zuckerberg to be a good person. He’s a money-hungry dictator who has far too much information about Facebook users already. This new lawsuit alleges that Facebook reads users’ private messages and sells the information for profit, but for what else could Facebook use your personal dossier? You may think you have nothing to hide, but in reality, you almost certainly do.
An Editorial by Rebecca Savastio