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Facebook sued by users for $15 billion over online tracking

May 18, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg speaks from Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., where he rang the opening bell for trading on the Nasdaq stock market.
Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg speaks from Facebook headquarters in… (Zef Nikolla / Facebook via…)

Facebook users have sued the company for $15 billion for tracking members' online activity even after they leave the site.

The class-action lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court in San Jose, Calif., and it combines 21 similar cases from around the country.

The suit claims that by tracking users' movements online outside of Facebook, which the social network can do through its "Like" button, it violates the U.S. Wiretap Act, according to Mashable. That act “provides statutory damages of the greater of $100 per violation per day, up to $10,000, per Facebook user,” the lawsuit says.

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“This is not just a damages action, but a groundbreaking digital-privacy rights case that could have wide and significant legal and business implications,” David Straite of Stewarts Law US, one of the firms leading the lawsuit, told Bloomberg.

Straite said his firm is also looking to add non-U.S. users to the claim, and also on Friday, a German privacy official warned potential Facebook investors that the social network may be violating European privacy laws.

The lawsuit comes the same day as Facebook's IPO. Trading in the stock began at about $42, valuing the company at more than $100 billion.

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