Facebook is a leader in social media as it has more than billions of users world wide. This social giant has just encountered a class-action lawsuit. The allegation uncovered that Facebook scans content of private messages in its system and then sell this data to third parties i.e. advertisers for commercial purpose.
Well, it is a fact that Facebook monitors user’s messages, likes, and uploaded information.Actually, it is a free service and in order to earn income Facebook has to get ads from the advertisers who demand information about customer’s behavior and usage pattern. Facebook provides customer’s data and details to third parties for a fee, in this way this social giant earns. This activity of Facebook is completely valid. However, major problem is that Facebook data mining activities are not very transparent.
There are many people who criticize Facebook as it doesn’t offer complete transparency. At present, two Facebook users believe that Facebook has crossed its limit when it comes to data mining. Matthew Campbell of Arkaas and Michael Hurley of Oregon have filed a class-action lawsuit on the behalf of more than 166 million users of Facebook in the US.They mentioned in the lawsuit that Facebook is truly violating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act as it scans and make commercial use of private message content on its platform without getting consent from the users.
Actually, they believe that if Facebook mark as “Private” then they should be private in true sense because mostly users think that these are indeed private. The allegation clears that Facebook identifies links that are given in the private messages and then company scans these links for their commercial purpose.
In their accusation Campbell and Hurley argue: “Representing to users that the content of Facebook messages is ‘private’ creates an especially profitable opportunity for Facebook, because users who believe they are communicating on a service free from surveillance are likely to reveal facts about themselves that they would not reveal had they known the content was being monitored.”
According to Facebook spokeperson, these allegations don’t have any solid evidence and base and Facebook will surely defend itself. Right this time, Facebook has a major problem as it has to maintain a good balance between its free service to customers and profit from advertising and data selling.
If you think that this lawsuit will end Facebook then you might be wrong. Leader of Social media will defend its position vigorously. However, it has to do something for better transparency than before, if they don’t like to face such lawsuit again and again. Actually, such lawsuit may lead to loss of customer’s trust on this platform, they may move to some other social media. Lack of transparency would be a biggest threat that may drop down Facebook ever increasing growth pattern.
What do you think about Facebook data mining activities? Do you allow Facebook to exploit content of your private messages?