Stephen Grygiel Explains Your Privacy Rights Regarding the Facebook Case

Steve explains how Facebook's information gathering violates the law and why the Internet's vast reach makes privacy rights more important than ever. Link to Video:

Stephen Grygiel of Keefe Bartels discusses what a number of lawyers and their clients contend are serious illegalities in Facebook's user tracking. Without proper disclosure or user consent, Facebook has tracked and gathered user's personal information, including data about where we go and what we do on the internet. For its own commercial gain, Facebook intercepts and then traffics in this information with advertisers and marketers. Steve, his co-counsel and clients believe Facebook knowingly breached established statutory, contractual and common law privacy rights boundaries. Steve explains how Facebook's information gathering violates the law and why the Internet's vast reach makes privacy rights more important than ever.

Link to Video:

Facebook's privacy policy clearly tells us that they track web pages we visit while we are signed into our session. We all agree that doing so is perfectly legal and acceptable. By tracking our movements while signed into social media sites, our user experience improves and we are presented with advertisements which are most relevant to our interests. We understand that Facebook is able to support it's free social media platform by selling advertising space and data, and the advertisements placed before us are most effective when they are relevant to us. However, Facebook took tracking user data too far.

Facebook told its users that when they logged out of their session, their comings and goings on the internet would cease to be tracked. When you are logged out, the site promised they wouldn't be following you around the internet. Facebook violated that promise. In doing so, three federal privacy protection laws were violated: the Federal Wiretap Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Stored Communications Act.

The lawsuits currently brought against Facebook open debate about laws enacted in the 1700's to the 1980's - long before the internet was a mainstay in our homes. These laws were written in or to protect the privacy of Americans against government and businesses and are every bit as important today as the day they were written and signed into law. These common law rights of privacy against trespassers mining data for their monetary gain without paying you are absolutely imperative in the age of social media. Facebook promised users that they would not track users after they have logged out. They broke that promise and they broke the laws.

The case against Facebook is groundbreaking. Laws enacted when our country was founded are being cited, as are laws that were written before the internet changed the world and our everyday lives. In fact, Grygiel points out new laws are being written every day to fight against data mining and stop big businesses from trampling on the rights of individuals. The outcome of this case could change the face of social media forever or leave an indelible mark upon the laws that helped make America what it is today.

In many ways Facebook rights are the new frontier in privacy laws. Since our country began, we have debated, defended and protected the privacy of our citizens. We have not allowed our citizens' personal information to be exploited to increase any company's bottom line. In short, American citizens' personal rights trump those of big businesses. With that in mind, a new wave of lawsuits against Facebook is headed for the courts so that personal privacy protection laws are upheld.


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