It’s been more than three years since a federal judge in California heard arguments in a large class-action lawsuit filed against Facebook over its questionable privacy practices. Finally, on Friday that judge sided with the social network and threw out the case — while leaving open the option for plaintiffs to revise and re-file their case.
The complaint involves Facebook’s tracking of users both while they are logged in as Facebook users and after they log off.
The plaintiffs argued that, in exchange for offering free access to Facebook, the company “conditions its membership upon users providing sensitive and personal information… including name, birth date, gender and e-mail address,” and requires that users accept numerous Facebook “cookies” on their web browsers that allow Facebook to track that a user’s Internet browsing history — which is then marketed to advertisers.
Of particular concern to the plaintiffs was Facebook’s continued tracking of users even after they had logged out of Facebook.