Facebook agrees to settle lawsuit over Android user privacy

This resolves a four-year legal battle


In 2018 developer Dylan McKay noticed that Facebook was doing something unexpected with information from his Android phone – it was recording names, numbers, and duration for every call. Shortly after he made this public via Twitter, multiple Android smartphone users got together and filed suit against the social media giant, alleging a violation of privacy. It’s taken almost exactly four years, but now it looks like Facebook is ready to settle the claims.

Citing court records from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Digital News Daily reports that the actual terms of the suit aren’t completely settled, and it is awaiting final approval from Judge Richard Seeborg. But it is interesting to see that Facebook – AKA Meta – has finally agreed to any kind of settlement at all. As Digital News Daily notes, the company originally pushed responsibility back on users, publishing a “fact check” in March 2018 that said the logging of calls and texts was always “opt-in only.”

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The plaintiffs in the case argued that when installed, Messenger asked for access to contacts and did not seek permission to record additional data. Facebook countered that the request could be found on another screen and also Android users really weren’t harmed by it, anyway. The judge in the case ended up siding with the users here, agreeing that the quiet data-scraping used up device storage and battery power.

According to the Digital News report, the Android users and Facebook will finalize terms then head back to court in April to get the judge to okay the deal.


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