Lawsuit: Facebook Tracks Its Users When They’re Online

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Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Is Facebook the new Big Brother? A new lawsuit alleges the social media site is tracking your every move on the Internet.

Meghan McCorkell has more.

Two Baltimore firms are involved in the lawsuit, which claims Facebook is keeping tabs on its users 24/7.

You log on to Facebook to follow friends, but after you log out, Facebook may still be following you!

“You would hope that all they would track is stuff that was on the site,” said one user.

But a new class-action lawsuit says that isn’t the case.

“We’re sick and tired of big companies abusing the privacy of consumers,” said lawyer Billy Murphy.

Murphy claims Facebook is violating its own policy by monitoring the Internet sites you visit after you log off.

“Your information about your personal, private behavior should not be available to prying eyes who want it so that they can make money off of you,” said Murphy.

Facebook’s policy says it receives data from the computer, mobile phone or other device you use to access Facebook. This may include your IP address, location, type of browser you use or the pages you visit.

According to the suit, when you sign up for Facebook, the site installs digital trackers called “cookies.” Those cookies can monitor what websites you’re looking at.

“Cookies are basically a GPS system,” said web expert Gary Buclous.

Buclous says having your web history tracked can be dangerous.

“Very, very nervous. Because, let’s face it, some information we want to disclose and some information we do not want disclosed,” Buclous said.

Facebook claims to fight the case in court, claiming it has no merit.

The suit filed by the Baltimore attorneys is one of a dozen lawsuits filed against Facebook in 11 states.

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