When you are well known and have some cash in the bank, you’re probably going to get sued at least once in your life. When you are Facebook (Facebook) and you have 250+ million users, increase the amount of lawsuits by a factor of 10 or so. Yes, Facebook has been sued once again, this time for allegedly misleading members on the use of their personal information and for violating California privacy laws.
The Orange County lawsuit was filed on behalf of five Facebook users, according to the AP – a photographer, an actress, two children under 13 (despite needing to be 13 or older to legally use Facebook) and a “user of the original Facebook.” It seeks monetary damages, attorney’s fees, and a trial by jury.
As you’d expect, Facebook believes that there is “no merit to this suit” and intends to fight it. We could go on and on about past Facebook lawsuits, many of them similar to this one. There was the lawsuit seeking $70.50 in damages, the text messaging lawsuit, the iKimbo patent, a class-action lawsuit for Facebook Beacon, the famous ConnectU debacle, and most recently, Power.com suing Facebook over data ownership. We’re pretty sure this list is nowhere near comprehensive.
Look: Facebook faces these types of suits all the time, and most of the time they are either dismissed or settled. Yes, Facebook’s had some thorny affairs with privacy, but recently they’ve been moving in the right direction with Facebook Democracy. Allowing users to vote on their own Terms of Service and letting them vote on changes is more than most sites offer. Besides, this lawsuit complains about common practices being illegal, such as changing the Terms of Service. It essentially rails against Facebook for 40 pages on practically every one of its featurse.
From the parts that we’ve read, we suspect that this California lawsuit doesn’t worry Facebook very much at all.