Portland SEO's Augusto Beato says that a court judgment on Facebook's data mining practices is imperative so that lawsuits concerning the use of the said data are best appreciated by the courts.
In March, three users have sued Facebook in federal court in the Northern District of California for collecting logs of phone calls and text messages, saying the practice was a violation of their privacy. They’re seeking class-action status in their complaint. Facebook acknowledged it had logged the call and text history of some users who have Android phones but said it only did so when those users opted in.
Recent lawsuits against Facebook are about misleading advertisers.
A new lawsuit alleges Facebook is misleading advertisers on how effective it is when selling itself as a platform that can help advertisers reach a target audience. "These target audiences are determined by Facebooks using practices that possibly violate the privacy of its users, which was the focal point of earlier actions," says Beato, who is the CEO of Portland SEO. "In effect, the complainants are leaning on the efficacy of data collected by Facebook through privacy violative practices."
The lawsuit, filed by InvestorVillage.com, claims that Facebook misleads advertisers that it can get them such people at 89 percent accuracy. "Facebook's advertising pitch is that you can put into the program exactly your target audience," says Seth Lesser, a lawyer who is representing InvestorVillage in the case.
InvestorVillage, a site that offers online discussion forums on investing, recently spent around $1,600 on two Facebook ad campaigns. The ads were targeted at people with interest in the stock market, incomes of at least $250,000 and college education.
The ads got a lot of likes, but the company said when it looked closer, at least 40 percent of those likes were from users outside the target audience.
In another complaint filed last month in a US district court in Oakland, California, plaintiffs Danielle Singer and her company Project Therapy, LLC claimed the Potential Reach and Estimated Daily Reach figures that Facebook provides to advertisers are wildly inflated.
As an example, the complaint claims that Facebook’s purported Potential Reach among 18-to-34-year-olds in each US state is greater the actual population of 18-to-34-year-olds in each of those states.
"Based on a combination of publicly available research and Plaintiffs' own analysis, among 18-34 years-olds in Chicago, for example, Facebook asserted its Potential Reach was approximately four times (400 percent) higher than the number of real 18-34 year-olds with Facebook accounts in Chicago," the complaint states.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
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