back to article America's Supremes give Facebook nothing but heartaches: Top court won't stop '$15bn wiretap' lawsuit

The US Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by Facebook to halt a multibillion-dollar class-action lawsuit that claims the social media giant illegally tracked users. On Monday, America's highest court declined to take the case on and review whether the Ninth Circuit of Appeals, based in California, was right to revive …

  1. croc

    The Impossible Wall

    I have never been (nor will I ever be) a user of any of Facebook's various properties. I have used every browser extension I could find to try to make my online life as Facebook-free as possible. If Facebook has any information at all on me,it was obtained totally without my permission.

    How do I go about ascertaining whether or no that Facebook has or doesn't have any of my information? It is the impossibility of scaling that wall that makes this case so important.

    1. Shadow Systems

      Re: The Impossible Wall

      In order to determine what info on you FB may have, you have to log in to your FB account & jump through the hoops to drill down to that section. This is especially heinous if you don't have a FB account as it means making the very thing you want to prevent.

      If you can scrape up the cash, file a Freedom Of Information Act request for your held data, then use the data they send back as proof for a further case against them for having compiled it in the first place without your express permission.

      1. O RLY

        Re: The Impossible Wall

        How does a FOIA request work against a private company? The Freedom of Information Act, to my knowledge, applies only to the Federal government (although most states have a similar act for their governments).

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: The Impossible Wall

          That's correct. You can't FOIA Facebook. If you live in a country with GDPR or California with CCPA, you have the right to get a copy of their data on you. Be prepared to give them a bunch of identifying information so they can find the data on you. Be prepared for them to keep that information and not tell you about doing that. Also be prepared to see some lies about what they don't have.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: The Impossible Wall

      "How do I go about ascertaining whether or no that Facebook has or doesn't have any of my information?"

      Flip a coin. If it lands, they have some information about you. It might be wrong, but they have it. If it doesn't land, you are not on Earth. Since you have access to the internet, we presume you're on the ISS, in which case they have information about you. All paths return the same value.

  2. ecofeco Silver badge


    Love it.

    See title

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only $15b?

  4. big_D Silver badge

    Not a user

    I am not a Facebook user, so Facebook shouldn't be tracking me, EVER!

    The same for Google and other tracking and advertising companies.

    That is why I block most of them on my network.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: so Facebook shouldn't be tracking me

      Yeah, but between shouldn't and doesn't, there's a bit of wiggle room.

      And Facebook as all over that wiggle room.

  5. don't you hate it when you lose your account Silver badge


    Will these peeping toms be finally slapped down and told "THIS IS WRONG". If any judge has any doubt this is unacceptable then I want the right to install CCTV in their house/car/office and follow them round. With impunity.

  6. Magani

    Dear Zuck...

    "The social network says it put an end to that specific type of tracking back in 2011, after it was exposed by a researcher."

    So it only stopped when it was called out. That tells you the moral compass that this company had at the time and (IMHO) it hasn't changed.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Dear Zuck...

      Of course not. Facebook's moral compass is firmly set on "profit", and it makes its profits from its targetted advertising.

      So nothing will stop it from doing its damndest to target you as finely as it can.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This couldn't happen

    to a nicer bunch of people.

  8. Tron

    Be careful what you wish for.

    GAFA harvested your data for profit, but incidentally empowered you to do loads of things that your government didn't want you to be able to do.

    Now the Empire Strikes Back.

    Celebrate all you want. I hope you like what you have left when the government takes down large chunks of the net, web 2.0 and all the things that incidentally empowered you - for the price of knowing which brand of cornflakes you ate. By then, your government will be spying on you way more than GAFA ever did. And you won't be able to dodge it without becoming a criminal, a terrorist and an enemy of the people.

    You won't even be able to complain about it on here. Comments sections are vanishing from news sites around the net. This one will eventually go too.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Be careful what you wish for.

      Right. Facebook is a hero which lets me do all sorts of things I couldn't do with a webserver or any of the thousands of forums that existed before they started, quite a few of which still exist today. It's all down to them that we have an open internet, even though they keep buying up parts of the internet and making it more centralized. This is a forum of technical people. We know what's possible without Facebook there. Talking is still possible. We also know what's related to Facebook and what isn't. National spying, for example, is perfectly possible with Facebook there and in fact easier with all their data in one convenient place. You are wrong.

  9. sreynolds

    It's always hard to prove

    There should be legislation where if you come to know of information that a reasonable person would know was obtained illegally then you should be held liable as well. A bit like Gordon Brown removing legal privilege from tax matters. That was the purveyors and consumers of illegally harvested data can be held to account.

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