The Guardian reports:
Facebook used its apps to gather information about users and their friends, including some who had not signed up to the social network, reading their text messages, tracking their locations and accessing photos on their phones, a court case in California alleges.
The claims of what would amount to mass surveillance are part of a lawsuit brought against the company by the former startup Six4Three, listed in legal documents filed at the superior court in San Mateo as part of a court case that has been ongoing for more than two years.
A Facebook spokesperson said that Six4Three’s “claims have no merit, and we will continue to defend ourselves vigorously”.
The allegations about surveillance appear in a January filing, the fifth amended complaint made by Six4Three. It alleges that Facebook used a range of methods, some adapted to the different phones that users carried, to collect information it could use for commercial purposes.
“Facebook continued to explore and implement ways to track users’ location, to track and read their texts, to access and record their microphones on their phones, to track and monitor their usage of competitive apps on their phones, and to track and monitor their calls,” one court document says.
(click here to continue reading Facebook accused of conducting mass surveillance through its apps | Technology | The Guardian.)
This is Facebook’s business model though, so what exactly are they going to argue? No, we don’t collect data on our users and then use this information to sell advertising to corporations?
The one detail that is the most disturbing1 is that Facebook did this for people who weren’t Facebook users. How did these people consent? How do they request their data? How do they update their privacy settings?Footnotes: