Did You Know That Facebook Reads Your Private Messages?

The social networking site monitors and uses your private messages for advertising purposes.

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Facebook Is Facing A Class Action Lawsuit Over Allegations That It Monitors Users' Private Messages

The lawsuit claims that when users share a link to another website via a private message, Facebook scans it to profile the sender's web activity.

This data can then allegedly be used for profit through sales to marketers and advertisers -- who then can target ads based on the user's online behavior.
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The lawsuit is requesting compensation of either $100 (£61) for each day of alleged violation or a $10,000 lump sum for each user - whichever is the greater amount.

The Complaint, Filed By Arkansas Lawyer Matt Campbell And Michael Hurley From Oregon, Says:

"Contrary to its representations, "private" Facebook messages are systematically intercepted by the Company in an effort to learn the contents of the users' communications [..] This practice enables Facebook to mine user data and profit from those data by sharing them with third parties -- namely, advertisers, marketers, and other data aggregators."
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Independent Research Has Also Been Cited Within The Lawsuit, Stating That Facebook Scans The Content Of Private Messages For Purposes "Unrelated" To Communication

The research says that when a user shares a link within a Facebook message, these links are recorded to contribute to the brand's Facebook activity, and can add to the amount of 'likes' a firm has.
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Facebook later admitted to the Wall Street Journal that this was the case, but "absolutely no private information has been exposed" due to the practice.

In Addition, By Touting Facebook's Messaging System As "Private," The Complaint Says That The Firm Has Given Itself The Opportunity To Mine Data Which Isn't Available To Other Data Aggregators

"Representing to users that the content of Facebook messages is "private" creates an especially profitable opportunity for Facebook," it says.
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It says this is "because users who believe they are communicating on a service free from surveillance are likely to reveal facts about themselves that they would not reveal had they known the content was being monitored.

"Thus, Facebook has positioned itself to acquire pieces of the users' profiles that are likely unavailable to other data aggregators."

Facebook Has Come Out Saying That The Allegations Are "Without Merit"

"We will defend ourselves vigorously," the world's biggest social networking site added.
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