Appeals Court Affirms Consumer Rights to Facebook Suit, But Upholds Ineffective Settlement

March 3, 2020

The Ninth Circuit decided today that consumers could bring a case against Facebook for scanning private messages, but upheld a settlement that produced only a minor change in Facebook's business practices. In Campbell v. Facebook, the appeals court found that consumers "sued to protect concrete interests" because wiretap laws "codify a context-specific extension of the substantive right to privacy." EPIC filed an amicus brief in the case, arguing that the settlement "does not prevent Facebook from resuming the practices" consumers sued to stop. EPIC explained that the settlement only requires Facebook to post a "vague notice" that is "not the basis for consent" under applicable wiretap laws. EPIC routinely files amicus briefs in cases concerning consumer privacy and standing.

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