The District Court in Northern California recently denied Facebook’s motion to dismiss a class action suit, which alleges that Facebook violated users' privacy when it scanned the content of their private messages for the purpose of delivering targeted advertising.
The court observed that Facebook did not offer a sufficient explanation as to how the challenged practice falls within the ordinary course of business. The court further noted that the disclosure set out in Facebook’s terms of use, allowing Facebook to use the information it received about users for "data analysis", was not sufficiently specific in order to establish that users had expressly consented to the scanning of the content of their messages.