(Reuters) – The US Supreme Court on Monday rejected Facebook Inc's bid to force back a $ 15 billion class action lawsuit and accused the company of illegally tracking the activities of Internet users even when they are logged out of social media platforms.
The judges refused to hear Facebook's appeal of a lower court decision reviving the proposed nationwide dispute and accused the company of violating a federal law called the Wiretap Act by secretly tracking users' visits to websites using Facebook features
The disputes also accuses the company of violating the privacy rights of its users under California law, but Facebook's appeal to the Supreme Court covered only the Wiretap Act.
Four people submitted the proposed nationwide. class action lawsuit filed in California federal court seeking $ 1
Facebook said that it protects users' privacy and does not have to be responsible for normal computer-to-computer communication. Facebook has more than 2.4 billion users worldwide, including more than 200 million in the United States.
The case concerns Facebook's use of features called "plug-ins" that third parties often incorporate into their websites to track users' web history. Along with digital files called "cookies" that can help identify Internet users, the plaintiffs accused Facebook of packaging this tracked data and selling it to advertisers for profit.
Facebook said they use the information they receive to customize the content it shows
A federal judge dismissed the case in 2017 but the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals 2020 revived it, so the Wiretap Act and state privacy claims could continue.  "Facebook user profiles would allegedly disclose an individual's likes, dislikes, interests and habits for a significant period of time without giving users a meaningful opportunity to control or prevent unauthorized exploration of their privacy," said the 9th Circle in its
Wiretap Act prohibits eavesdropping on electronic communications, but excludes persons who are parties to the communication – the designated sender or recipient of inf
In its appeal to the Supreme Court, Facebook said that it is not liable under the Wiretap Act because it is a party to the current communication due to its plug-in.
“Facebook was not an uninvited interloper to a communication between two separate parties; it was a direct participant, the company says in a legal application. Catalog