Facebook, Zynga Accused of Privacy Violations

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – In the latest in Facebook’s privacy woes, a federal class action claims the Facebook violated electronic communications laws with online game developer Zynga, by making gamer-players’ identities available to third-party advertisers and Internet tracking companies.




     The class claims their Facebook identification numbers were made available through popular Facebook applications developed by Zynga, particularly “FarmVille” and “Mafia Wars.” They say the defendants gave outside advertising companies access to their birth dates, addresses, personal pictures and videos.
     Lead plaintiff Shelley Albini, of New Haven, Conn., says her private information was exposed through FarmVille, which has more than 59 million users.
     Zynga and Facebook require users to assent to their Terms of Service and Privacy Policies; both promise not to disclose personal information without authorization.
     The class demands $100 in statutory damages for each day of violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. They also allege violations of the Stored Communications Act and California’s Computer Crime Law.
     They are represented by Shawn Khorrami with Khorammi Pollard of Los Angeles.
     In a separate federal class action in the same court, the class accuses Zynga of violating federal privacy laws by transmitting gamers’ personal data to outside parties without their permission. The information could then be used to target advertisements to users. This complaint does not name Facebook.

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