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Source: MAARS News

Posted on July 13, 2010

The Canadian law firm 'Merchant Law Group' has launched a high profile class action suit against Facebook over the social network allegedly breaching the privacy of its users. Tony Merchant Q.C stated Friday that "this claim asserts that Facebook shamelessly breached the privacy of people who trusted it."

Facebook has had a number of legal problems over its privacy policies in recent times On February 4, 2009, without proper communication to or agreement by its Users, Facebook revised its Terms of Service, asserting broad, permanent, and retroactive intentions to reveal Users' information, even as to Users who deleted their Facebook.com accounts. The Company stated it could make public a User's "name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising." Having met with numerous objections from Users and after being threatened with action by U.S. federal government regulators, Facebook withdrew the proposed changes.

This latest claim alleges that the tools provided by Facebook to Users of the social network are materially misleading and calculated to result in unauthorized breaches of Users privacy and conversion of their personal information, including but not limited to the breach of Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act., 2000, c. 5. and other breaches of statute and common law.

The claim also states that "in effect the changes enacted by Facebook on or about November 19, 2009, and on or about December 9, 2009 and on or about January 20, 2010 were deceptively described by Facebook, leading Users to believe their personal information was protected from unauthorized sharing, use, and dissemination."

Merchant concluded; "This is classic bait and switch. The window invites you to increase your security. Anything unchanged goes to a less private default position allowing Facebook to sell your personal information. Data Miners, Harvesters can then demographically target Facebook users selling specifically based on age, income, sex, interest, and affinities."

E.F. Anthony Merchant, Q.C., usually known as Tony Merchant, is one of Canada's most active litigators with over 650 reported cases in leading law journals. The Merchant Law Group LLP are also well known for their involvement in mass and class action cases in Canada, including class action litigation regarding ongoing nationwide related Toyota class proceedings, Residential Schools, Agent Orange, Lord Black and Hollinger, Winners-HomeSense, Maple Leaf Foods, Mattel, Menu Foods, Avandia, and various prescription drug litigation, to mention just a few.

Merchant Law Group will pursue the Facebook class action from its offices in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria. The claim was issued on July 2, 2010 at 11am eastern standard time in Winnipeg, Manitoba one of the North American class action jurisdictions which may exercise authority nationally and internationally.

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