Facebook has responded to the lawsuit. In a statement emailed to WebProNews, a Facebook spokesperson said, “We believe this complaint is without merit and we will fight it vigorously.”
Amidst all the news about Facebook’s IPO there appears to be another interesting story in the works about the now-public company. It seems that a San Jose judge has signed an order combining several lawsuits against the now-public social networking company into one massive lawsuit that is seeking damages that could reach as high as $15 billion.
According to a report this morning from Bloomberg, the suit accuses Facebook of continuing to track users’ internet activities even after they logged out of their account. This, the complaint argues, is a violation of the U.S. Wiretap Act, which carries a penalty of $100 per violation per day, with a maximum of $10,000. That means that if Facebook is found liable, they would be out $10,000 per user, which works out to around $15 billion in total.
To put that in perspective, Facebook’s current market value is $109.9 billion. If they were to actually be forced to pay the maximum penalties for these alleged violations (which is unlikely), it would throw quite the damper on their very successful (so far) IPO.
A request for comment emailed to Facebook has not yet received a response.