A California judge has dismissed a case that alleged Facebook tracks users even once they have logged out of their Facebook accounts.
The Guardian reports that a case alleging that social media giant Facebook was tracking its user’s browsing habits despite being logged out of their Facebook accounts has been dismissed by the judge presiding over the case. The plaintiffs in the case claimed that through the use of “like” buttons, which appear on many websites across the internet, Facebook was tracking their user’s browsing habits and building detailed reports, an act which the plaintiffs argued violated federal and state privacy and wiretapping laws.
The case was dismissed by US District Judge Edward Davila of San Jose, California who stated that the plaintiffs in the case had not proven that they had a reasonable expectation of privacy or had suffered any realistic economic harm or loss due to Facebook’s actions. Davila said that the plaintiffs failed to prove that Facebook had in fact spied on them and had failed to take necessary precautions to protect their web browsing habits, such as the Digital Advertising Alliance’s opt-out tool.
Davila dismissed an earlier version of this case in 2015 and stated, “Facebook’s intrusion could have easily been blocked, but plaintiffs chose not to do so.” When a Facebook user visits a website that features a Facebook “like” button, information is sent back to Facebook servers detailing where the user found the like button. Discussing this Davila said, “The fact that a user’s web browser automatically sends the same information to both parties does not establish that one party intercepted the user’s communication with the other.”
When asked for comment a Facebook spokeswoman told The Guardian, “We are pleased with the court’s ruling.”