Facebook's tracking scandal has mushroomed into a niche industry of sorts for privacy lawyers. The company now faces at least nine suits filed by people who oppose the company's use of cookie technology that tracks users' online activity even after they've logged out of their accounts. Expect a few more suits to follow.
In general, the suits seek class-action status on behalf of Facebook's 150 million U.S.-based users and claim wiretapping violations. Our list, to date:
- California: A Chicago resident named Perrin Aikens Davis joined up with a bunch of Facebook users in a suit that seeks unspecified damages plus an injunction against tracking users who aren't logged in to their accounts. In addition to wiretapping violations, the suit also cites violations of computer fraud and abuse statutes, BusinessWeek reports.
- Kansas: Leawood lawyer John Graham filed a federal suit that also alleges that Facebook violated state laws, including the Kansas Consumer Protection Act.
- Texas: Austin lawyer Michael Singley's suit claims wiretapping violations and also accuses Facebook of illegally selling users' information to third parties. The Statesman reports that the suit seeks punitive damages, statutory damages of up to $10,000 per violation, and maybe even an injunction, why not.
- Alabama: Lawyer Alexandra Parrish filed suit in Birmingham, claiming that Facebook's selling people's info.
- Kentucky: Paducah resident David Hoffman filed suit in Louisville the other day. The Courier-Journal reports that the suit seeks an injunction prohibiting Facebook from collecting information from offline users as well as "damages of $100 per day for each of the class members or $10,000 per violation, along with an undisclosed amount in punitive damages."
- Louisiana: Facebook user Janet Seamon filed a lawsuit seeking roughly the same damages called for in Hoffman's suit.
- Mississippi: Brooke Rutledge filed suit in which she alleges breach of contract, unjust enrichment, trespassing, and invasion of privacy.
- Illinois: Dana Howard has a federal suit.
- Missouri: And Chandra Thompson has a federal suit.
Facebook has vowed to vigorously fight all these lawsuits so that it can continue providing itself with the best and most comprehensive data-tracking services on the market.