FACEBOOK could be forced to pay users up to $US10,000 ($A12,300) each for violating their privacy if a new lawsuit is successful. A judge in the US District Court ruled on Wednesday that a class-action suit against the social media giant can proceed.

According to the lawsuit, originally filed in December 2013, Facebook scanned the content of users’ private messages for advertising purposes, violating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and California’s privacy and unfair competition laws.

Whenever users included links to third-party websites in messages, Facebook would follow the link and search for information to profile the sender’s browsing activity, it was alleged. According to court documents, Facebook would also treat a link to a website within a private message as the user having ‘liked’ that page via the embedded social share button.

Facebook had attempted to dismiss the suit by claiming the “interceptions” were lawful because they occurred in the “ordinary course” of its business… see more

source: news.com.au