Federal Wiretap Charges Vs. Facebook, Zynga Dismissed, But Facebook Still Faces Breach-Of-Contract Claims


ScalesOfJusticeGavel650It was a mixed bag for Facebook at the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco Thursday, as Reuters reported that federal wiretap claims against the social network and game developer Zynga were dismissed, but breach-of-contract claims under California state law were revived.

Separate class-action lawsuits were filed against Facebook and Zynga in 2010, according to Reuters, and they were consolidated during the appeal process. The suits involved disclosure of users’ personal information to advertisers.

According to court filings, as reported by Reuters, the plaintiffs claimed that advertisers and other third parties received their Facebook IDs and page addresses when they clicked on Zynga games or ads on the social network.

The three-judge panel ruled that civil wiretap claims were not applicable because the information that was allegedly disclosed did not qualify under law as “contents of a communications,” according to Reuters, but the panel also ruled that the plaintiffs could pursue allegations that Facebook’s privacy policies were violated.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Kassra Nassiri told Reuters:

Now we’re going to get our chance to show exactly why Facebook breached its privacy policy, and what the value was to Facebook.

Readers: How will this case turn out?

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