back to article Facebook accused of violating US wiretap law

A Mississippi woman has accused Facebook of violating federal wiretap statutes by tracking her internet browsing history even when she wasn't logged onto the social networking site. In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in federal court in the northern district of Mississippi, Brooke Rutledge of Lafayette County, Mississippi, also …


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  1. jake Silver badge

    My only question is ...

    Why do people expect that multi-billion$currency marketing corporations won't take advantage of any and all personal details that are freely given to them?

    The mind absolutely boggles ... Use !GooMyFaceYouMSiTwit at your own peril ... They are only in it for their gain, not your personal welfare.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Even if you expect it, doesn't make it right or legal.

      I do admire when the US legal system gives even the 'small guy' some teeth.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Unfortunately US law seems to leave them with gums in cases like this. So far they've all been thrown out because they can't identify a specific loss with a dollar value. In the eyes of the law your privacy is worthless.

    2. CaptainHook

      They will use it for their gain

      Which is why application of the law is needed to restrain their behaviour.

    3. Anonymous Coward 15

      Nobody expects

      the Spanish Inquisition!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope she sues.

    Anything that would bring about the death of Facebook is always a good thing.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Ben Morgan


      She has sued.

      That was the entire point of the article.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      So everyone can move to google+, run by the company that doesnt even *pretend* to respect your privacy?

      1. Grease Monkey Silver badge


        Sorry I don't get it. Why do people feel they have to use "social networking" at all? The weird thing is that most of the obsessive FB users I know talk to their FB friends regularly anyway. Take for example the bunch of FB mums we get in the school playground every morning. They used to talk about their lives, now they do so at one remove. They talk about what they have read about each other on FB. Sometimes it's almost like listening to them talk about each other as third parties.

        Keeping in touch with people you don't see regularly? We have phones and email for that.

        Social networking is a solution to a problem that nobody even thought they had until social networking cam along.

  3. mafoo


    I have Ghostery (all major browsers: and Incognito (Safari installed to prevent this from happening.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      I have various domains blacklisted, including Facebook. One news site became almost unusable when they killed their own comments board and replaced it with Facebook, and at that point I just had to add Facebook to /dev/null

  4. Lamont Cranston

    "unjust enrichment"

    Enrichment of what? Facebook, its affiliates, or the users' web browsing experience?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "not all of the data sent back to the social networking site is logged."

    Is listening to an illegal wire tap through headphones wildly different from recording it on tape?

  6. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Potentially tainted technology?

    I suppose tracking cookies have some usefulness were the end user made aware (log in to a computer and all my tracking goodness appears onscreen?)

    But this pseudo-spying sort of stuff needs to evaporate from service provider's menu as a matter of priority.

    For instance: suppose it were the Police that used the tracker upon citizens/subjects.

    Even worse still?

    Suppose it were the Police of another nation on another continent.

    Suppose it were a state-run secretive security type organisation that tracked as Facebook?

    Who would be happy then?

  7. Winkypop Silver badge

    In ya face Zuckerberg


  8. JeffyPooh

    I can confirm that Facebook et al violate their own Ts & Cs

    I have set up Facebork to disallow 3rd party websites from accessing my identity. In other words, my Facebork account is locked down. Most (almost all) websites with those annoying Facebork frames obey this and display a random collection of faces of people I don't know.

    But on two occassions I've seen *my* face and *my Facebook Friends* staring out at me on 3rd party websites.


  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surprise Surprise!

    Facebook violating privacy, data hoarding, tracking, yadda yadda yadda (yawn)

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      Indeed. But does that mean that people shouldn't try to do something about it?

      1. jake Silver badge

        @Grease Monkey

        Me, myself, I do something about it.

        I don't visit those sites.

        I invite all y'all to similarly ignore the marketards of the world ...

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          You don't visit sites which have a Facebook 'Like' button?

          Scroll to the bottom of the page, and slap yourself in the face.

          1. jake Silver badge

            @Loyal Commenter

            ::scrolls to bottom of page::


            Nope. Nothing facetube-ish there. I wonder why you're seeing it? Smoking wacky tabacky again? Or perhaps your Rye is mildewed ...

            1. magnetik

              @ jake

              Er, try going back to the article and looking at the top of the page. I see "tweet" and "like". What do you see?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Black Helicopters

                I see:

                Print Comment 401 The web site is blocked by administrator 401 The web site is blocked by administrator Alert

                Then the rest of the page displays as normal. Wasn't hard, suspect it wasn't hard for anyone else either.

              2. jake Silver badge


                No YouFaceTube stuff there, either.

                Seriously, I'll never click on such a thing, so I block 'em. Saves bandwith for both me, and for ElReg.

        2. Anonymous Coward

          No need to go that far

          Ad Block and no script in Firefox do a pretty good job of fixing those little problems.

  10. chain
    Big Brother

    That's why I have cookies disabled, and only enable them for specific domains. That plus privacy enhancing adblock filters and I feel much more comfortable browsing the web.

  11. Pseu Donyme

    Disabing 3rd party cookies should prevent this sort of thing (?).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Wednesday's complaint is the latest to seek redress for alleged privacy violations that result from cookies and other files that websites use to track the browsing habits of their visitors."

    Or more likely,

    "Wednesday's complaint is the latest to seek to cash in, and the lawyers are looking for any one to join who can bolster their fees."

  13. Tom 13

    No matter how much you dislike FB,

    this suit should be dismissed with extreme prejudice. The whole point of clicking on a "Like" button on a website is to link it to YOUR profile, which must necessarily provide the company which provided the "Like" button with said information.

    1. Corinne

      Part of the problem is that it tracks you even if you don't click on the "like" button, just if you visit a site that has the "like" button on it.

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