Last year, a woman in Mississippi filed a lawsuit against Facebook, alleging that the social networking site violated U.S. wiretap laws by tracking her browsing history. In the suit, Brooke Rutledge accused the site of breach of contract, trespassing, unjust enrichment, and invasion of privacy. Now, in what may be a sign that the case is getting a go-ahead, a Mississippi judge has transferred the suit to California.
The reasoning behind the suit was based on the revelation that Facebook was tracking members’ browsing habits and storing the data even when they weren’t signed in to the site. After getting busted by Australian writer/hacker Nik Cubrilovic, Facebook avowed to remove the omni-tracking cookie but then returned it shortly after that was gone.
Although Facebook has since promised to change their data retention policies, that doesn’t really change the fact that they may have violated federal wiretap laws in the United States. And, sorry Facebook, but if you broke the law, changing your habits after you get caught doesn’t automatically nullify your prior legal infraction. What’s more is that if this case should work out into Rutledge’s favor, which who knows at this point given how everybody’s suing tech companies for possible privacy violations these days, it’d be the first precedent of what could be a very long and extensive overhaul with how companies can collect and store users’ personal information.