Facebook Says That Users Have No “Reasonable Expectation Of Privacy”

Facebook has made a big deal about pivoting to focus on user privacy ­— but while the company talks the talk, it doesn’t always walk the walk. The latest example of this hypocrisy occurred recently in a California court room, where attorneys for Facebook argued that its users basically have no privacy at all.

The company made this startling statement while fighting litigation from users regarding the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal. According to the social media giant’s logic, it couldn’t have invaded users’ privacy, because users don’t have an expectation of privacy when they use the platform.

“There is no privacy interest, because by sharing with a hundred friends on a social media platform, which is an affirmative social act to publish, to disclose, to share ostensibly private information with a hundred people, you have just, under centuries of common law… negated any reasonable expectation of privacy,” Facebook lawyer Orin Snyder said.

However, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria was skeptical of Facebook’s argument.

“If I share [information] with ten people, that doesn’t eliminate my expectation of privacy,” he said. “It might diminish it, but it doesn’t eliminate it.”

It’s disappointing, if not exactly surprising, to hear Facebook speak so callously about our private data. If nothing else, this provides all the evidence you’d ever need not to trust the company with more of your info.

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