Facebook accused of collecting user data from its apps for mass surveillance: Report

A Facebook representative said the claims had no merit and contended that the social network does not log people's call and text history without their consent.

Already under fire for misuse of users' data after the Cambridge Analytica scandal came to light, a new filing in a California lawsuit now alleges that Facebook collected information on users and their friends through its apps.

A figurine is seen in front of the Facebook logo. Image: Reuters

A figurine is seen in front of the Facebook logo. Reuters.

The filing is part of a suit brought against Facebook in 2015 by now-defunct startup Six4Three, CNET reported on 24 May. The claims were made in a filing submitted last week to the superior court in San Mateo, California, the report said.

To collect the information, Facebook used several methods including tracking users' locations, reading their text messages and accessing their photos on phones, according to the allegations as reported by The Guardian.

Documents filed in the court drew upon extensive confidential emails and messages between Facebook senior executives, the report said. A Facebook representative said the claims had no merit and contended that the social network does not log people's call and text history without their consent.

According to The Guardian, allegations of surveillance appear in a January filing which was the fifth amended complaint by Six4Three where it alleged that Facebook used many methods to collect information for commercial purposes. According to one document, "Facebook continued to explore and implement ways to track users’ location, to track and read their texts, to access and record their microphones on their phones, to track and monitor their usage of competitive apps on their phones, and to track and monitor their calls."

In March, Facebook admitted it collected data from people's calls and texts but said it had prior consent. However, The Guardian reported that it logged some messages without explicitly notifying users.

Six4Three is suing Facebook over its app Pikinis, which allowed users to zoom in on bikini photos.

It alleges that Facebook tracked users, sometimes without their express consent.

With inputs from IANS

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