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Facebook sued over user privacy

Has Facebook been snooping around your private messages? A lawsuit has accused the social media company of scanning messages sent via the website for URLs that it then allegedly uses for data mining and marketing, all without disclosing the surveillance to users.

The class action lawsuit, filed in federal court by Matthew Campbell and Michael Hurley on Dec. 30, claims that Facebook systematically intercepts messages that users believe are confidential, making it likely they "reveal facts about themselves they would not reveal had they known the content was being monitored."

The complaint cites a 2013 study conducted by a Swiss security firm, High-Tech Bridge, that embedded unique URLs in private messages to test whether 50 web services, including Facebook, would click on the links. Facebook was "caught scanning URLs," according to the lawsuit.

Facebook has said it believes the allegations to be without merit, and will defend itself vigorously.

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