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Judge agrees to Facebook’s cashless settlement over Android data scraping

Brigitte Hunaker, Jesse Edwards |

October 24, 2022

category: Consumer News

(Image source: JuliusKielaitis / Shutterstock)

Modernization:

  • A federal judge in California has enthusiastically approved a settlement agreement between Facebook and a class of Android users alleging that the company sold their data and text records to advertisers without their consent.
  • On October 20, US District Judge Richard Seaborg said he would agree to the settlement even though he felt the deal, which only grants injunctive relief, does not provide class notice and allows severance lawyers to collect up to $1.08 million in fees and expenses, is empty, reports Law360.
  • “I think the absence of a lot of achievement, in my view, is counterbalanced by the fact that I don’t think it was a particularly strong case,” says the judge. “I think the final message is [that] Without much enthusiasm, I am inclined to go ahead and agree to the final settlement and agree to the amount of attorney’s fees and get it done.”
  • Class representatives will receive $1,500 each in incentive prizes.

(September 3, 2019)

A judge recently decided that Facebook should face a class action alleging that the Messenger app records calls and text logs of Android users.

Facebook Try to dismiss the Messenger class claimarguing that the plaintiffs in the case failed to show that their contact and text data had been collected and sold without consent.

US District Judge Richard Seaborg recently rejected this argument and said that Facebook cannot escape allegations that they have infringed the rights of Android users through their alleged data scrapping scheme.

Judge Seeborg referred to expert testimony from the solicitors of Android users which reportedly showed that Messenger users had their data scraped before they gave their consent. The same expert also provided another testimonial that Android users have likely been affected by the problem for longer than expected because most people do not update their smartphones regularly.

This is said to mean that users may have used the alleged data scraping version of the Facebook Messenger app even after the social media site released updates to fix the issue.

According to a California federal court judge, this expert testimony adequately supported the plaintiffs’ claims – allowing the case to move forward. However, Judge Seaborg warned the plaintiffs that they had no “guaranteed path to victory.”

“Saying that many or even most consumers failed to update their Android phones to Facebook’s ongoing shutdown of user call and text logs is not the same as asserting that these particular plaintiffs participated in that failure,” Judge Seeborg wrote in the Messenger class action ruling. .

“however […] It suffices to establish a dispute about a material fact regarding the actual Facebook attacks as to which version of Android the plaintiffs are using and whether they have agreed to an explicit claim for access to their call and text logs. “

Although Judge Seeborg kept the Facebook Messenger class action alive, he dismissed the plaintiff’s claims regarding Facebook Lite.

According to the judge, Android users failed to prove that they actually downloaded the app in question. However, Judge Seeborg kept the plaintiffs’ privacy claims in play, saying the claims are still valid at this point in the Messenger class action.

“Contrary to whether the plaintiffs downloaded the Facebook Lite app — a fact which is easily within their control beyond the scope of discovery — evidence of who, if any, Facebook may have disclosed the plaintiffs’ call and text message records, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Inside, said Judge Seaborg.

“Expecting plaintiffs to present evidence to counter a factual Facebook attack on these grounds is inappropriate at this point in the litigation.”

Android users submitted files Facebook Messenger class action lawsuit in March 2018, claiming that the app violated their privacy by collecting call and text message data logs. This information is allegedly sold to third parties for advertising purposes.

As per the Facebook Messenger class action, Android users gave the app permission to access their contacts, but they didn’t give the app permission to access their call and text data logs.

Users claim that the alleged data scraping scheme collected dates and times of phone calls, phone numbers called, names of contacts called, duration of calls, and whether calls were incoming, outgoing or missed.

Facebook users are represented by L. Timothy Fisher, Scott A. Bursor, and Neal J. Deckant of Bursor & Fisher PA.

The Facebook Messenger Class Action Suit he is Williams and others. v. Facebook Inc.Case No. 3: 18-cv-01881, in US District Court for the Northern District of California.



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