LinkedIn – Facebook, the popular social network with over a billion users world wide, has just been hit with a class-action lawsuit. The allegations, revealed in the FT, are that Facebook systematically scans the content of private messages so it can sell the data to third parties such as advertisers.
Facebook’s entire business model is based on the fact that it monitors what users write, like and up-load in order to sell this information on to others. I have covered some of the concerns about this in my articles ‘How Facebook Exploits Your Private Information’ and ‘How Facebook Likes Reveal Your Intimate Secrets’. In principle, there is nothing wrong with Facebook using our data to make commercial gains. In the end, the service is free and Facebook has to make money somehow. However, my biggest concern is that the data mining activities are not as transparent as they should be.