On October 23, 2015, Facebook won dismissal of a potential $15 billion class action which accused the company of secretly tracking the Internet activity of its users after they log off. In re Facebook Internet Tracking Litig., No. 5:12-md-02314 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 23, 2015).
In 2012, a group of Facebook users filed suit against Facebook, alleging that while they may have agreed to the company's installation of “cookie” files on their computers to track their web browsing, they did not consent to such monitoring after logging out of the social network. This lawsuit later consolidate similar complaints filed against Facebook nationwide. The plaintiff alleged that Facebook’s conduct violated the Wiretap Act by monitoring their online activity while they weren’t logged on and for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
On October 23, the Northern District of California dismissed the claims against Facebook, concluding that the plaintiffs failed to “adequately connect” the value of the data collected by Facebook “to a realistic economic harm or loss.” The court concluded that the plaintiffs failed to show “they personally lost the opportunity to sell their information or that the value of their information was somehow diminished after it was collected by Facebook.”
The court, however, gave the plaintiffs until Nov. 30 to revise their claims, including invasion of privacy and alleged violations of the Wiretap Act.