May 26, 2010, 12:15 PM — Sure, Google may know about you, but its Facebook opening up your private information to the world's gaze, and their advertiser's profits, that has people ticked off. So, it should come as no surprise that someone has finally done it: They've sued Facebook for violating their privacy.
As reported by MediaPost, Rhode Island Derrick Rose has sued Facebook for allegedly violating his privacy with the four-week-old "instant personalization" feature. Specifically he claims that the launch of instant personalization "violated users' reasonable expectations of privacy. Users' private lists of all the persons they want to share information with may be very different from what they may want to share for purposes of social networking through Facebook. Nevertheless, Facebook, without user authorization, accessed and made public the users' profile information."
Why, yes, yes they did. While you can lock your Facebook account from snoopers and Facebook claims they're going to be making it easier to bar unwelcome visitors from your information, the company isn't backing off from letting any Tom, Dick, or Harry into your information by default.
If Rose has his way, that kind of attitude is going to hit Facebook where it hurts: in the wallet. Rose isn't the only one. Facebook was smacked with a pair of class-actions law suits earlier in 2010 over other privacy issues. In those cases, which have since been consolidated, the plaintiffs allege that "Changes to the privacy settings that Facebook implemented and represented to increase User privacy had the outright opposite effect of resulting in the public dissemination of personal information that was originally private."
Who knows, maybe Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will finally buy a clue and let Facebook users keep their information secure by default if he has to shell out enough millions to disgruntled users and their lawyers. We can but hope.