MENLO PARK, CO – With all the talk lately about spying, hacking and ‘data mining’, it’s becoming apparent that “Big Brother” is watching.
A new lawsuit filed against Facebook claims the social network has been snooping on private messages and selling the content to advertisers.
Those little golden nuggets of information allow companies to target ads specifically to you.
“Let’s say that I am a heavy snack user and I buy snacks, and we now have the ability through about 50% purchase card data in the United States to tell a snack manufacturer that here are the consumers that purchased snacks,” said Carolyn Everson, VP of global marketing for Facebook.
So, when an ad for Cheetos pops up on your page, and you just-so-happen to love Cheetos, it’s not a crazy coincidence.
The plaintiffs want it to be given class-action status, which could mean as many as 166 million Facebook users in the U.S. would be eligible to join.
This isn’t a first for Facebook.
Back in September, the social network settled a class action lawsuit for $20 million for sharing users’ likes in sponsored stories without their permission.
“We firmly believe that the more relevant and useful the advertising can be, that it’s in service of the consumer,” said Everson.
That’s for a judge to decide.