We Should Be Able to Take Facebook to Court

This piece originally appeared at The New York Times

After The New York Times revealed last month that Facebook continued to share personal information of millions of consumers with companies like Netflix, Yahoo, Spotify and Google — despite contrary assertions to Congress — many people decided to delete their Facebook accounts. But if Facebook’s actions, as described by The Times, violated the law, consumers should be able to send an even more powerful message, one that could leave a much larger imprint on the company’s ledger books: suing the company for damages.

Facebook knows this and has been working to make it near impossible to do so.

For example, consumers recently filed a lawsuit in Illinois claiming Facebook violated a state privacy law by using facial recognition technology on their uploaded photographs without their consent. Facebook is fighting the lawsuit by trying to get the court to buy into troubling arguments that would make it even more difficult for consumers to sue lawbreaking companies for damages.

Facebook is arguing that the law at issue doesn’t grant consumers the ability to sue companies, otherwise known as a “private right of action,” based solely on the fact that a company violated the law. Instead, according to Facebook, consumers should have to show that the lawbreaking practice caused additional harm beyond a mere violation to get their day in court and damages.

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Ms. Gloria Anasyrma

Andy Warhol was right when he said: "In the future you will only have privacy for 15 Minutes."

Carl Smith

Corporations have some of the same rights as Citizens and the obvious, never mentioned advantage of immunity from jail. Corporate executives apparently have that same privilege. And yet they want another way to be above the law?


The ACLU only fights for men's rights and now, transgender rights. No one stands up for gay women born women. These militants who have infected our unpoliced, very diverse and welcoming community are being forced on the women in the gay community and are now walking over the lesbians to spread their opinion of women to the world. They are not homosexuals. They do not represent gay men and gay women (lesbians) at all. They are hetero and that includes bisexual, transgender-all, and every fetish seeker in the hetero community. When a lesbian woman says no, just walk over her, vilify her, shun her and take her place.

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