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CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT
CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT I.
The right of privacy is a personal and fundamental right in California
and the United States.
An individual’s privacy is directly implicated by the collection, use, and dissemination of personal information. Defendant Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook” or “the Company”) has systematically violated consumers’ privacy by reading its users’ personal, private Facebook messages without their consent. 2.
Facebook is a social-networking site that boasts more than one billion users worldwide, making it the largest online social network in the world. 3.
Across the various services it offers, Facebook takes pains to promise a stark distinction in the types of communications it facilitates. Users may choose to communicate publicly via individual Facebook pages, or privately via personal messages and chats.
Specifically, Facebook describes communication options “[d]epending on whom you’d like to share with.” The options range from the broadest possible audience (a post which the public may see, including via searches on the internet), to posts viewable by small groups of friends, to Facebook messages shared “privately” with a single individual.
CAL. CONST., Art. I, § 1, adopted as ballot measure in 1972 (“All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.”).
Am. Acad. of Pediatrics v. Lungren
, 16 Cal. 4th 307, 326 (1997) (“[T]he scope and application of the state constitutional right of privacy is broader and more protective of privacy than the federal constitutional right of privacy as interpreted by the federal courts.”).
Dep’t of Justice v. Reporters Comm. for Freedom of the Press
, 489 U.S. 749, 763 (1989) (“both the common law and the literal understandings of privacy encompass the individual’s control of information concerning his or her person”);
, 429 U.S. 589, 605 (1977).
The distinction between “messages” and “chats” on Facebook is one of timing: chats happen in real-time and often give the appearance of conversation, whereas messages act more like email.
Help Center: Get Started on Facebook: How to Post & Share
See the Messages that Matter,
Case4:13-cv-05996-PJH Document1 Filed12/30/13 Page2 of 36