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Facebook ‘Surveilled’ Users’ Texts and Pictures, Exploited Data: Lawsuit

A lawsuit filed by a California startup alleges that Mark Zuckerberg effectively “weaponized” data in order to keep business booming, and Facebook practiced mass surveillance—including seeking to read text messages and gather data about those not on the network, The Guardian reported. While the social-media giant has now curbed the ability of apps to access friends’ data, “extensive confidential emails and messages between Facebook senior executives including Mark Zuckerberg” allegedly show that the platform exploited companies looking to advertise on the network by threatening to cut off access to user data unless they bought “expensive ads on the new, underused mobile service.” The suit, by Six4Three, also alleges that Facebook sought to track user locations, read texts, monitor calls, access phone microphones, and track competitor app use. Facebook denies such allegations, and is seeking to dismiss the case using a California free-speech law to protect its “editorial decision to stop publishing certain user-generated content via its platform to third-party app developers.” Six4Three is opposing that motion.