Sci-tech

Facebook: You gave us permission to log your calls and texts

Facebook: You gave us permission to log your calls and texts

Users who don't realize they've been sharing this data are getting a rude awakening when they delete their Facebook accounts and look through this archived data for the first time. Alternatively, the opt-in to data collection may not have been very clear or set as a default response in certain cases.

But in the lawsuit filed Tuesday in US District Court in Manhattan, the National Fair Housing Alliance and affiliates in New York, San Antonio and Miami contend that Facebook's advertising platform "continues to enable landlords and real estate brokers to bar families with children, women and others from receiving rental and sales ads for housing".

"There is absolutely no place for discrimination on Facebook", the company said, declaring that the lawsuit has no merit. "We know these changes are not easy, but we believe these updates will help mitigate any breach of trust with the broader developer ecosystem".

In a second article in November, Propublica found Facebook housing ads that specifically excluded people based on race and religion, as well as people with disabilities.

In a statement to ConsumerAffairs, a spokesperson for Facebook denied the allegations in the suit.

The housing groups behind the lawsuit created a fake realty firm and submitted housing advertisements to Facebook. Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg personally apologized, but the social media giant has remained mired in controversy regarding how third parties can access user data. "Facebook and its advertisers have made the ad invisible to them".

"Because of Facebook's impact on the housing market, we'll ask the court to implement a plan of community education and outreach to housing providers to inform them of their obligation not to discriminate".

The class action lawsuit Facebook faces hasn't disclosed an amount the plaintiffs are seeking yet, and it still needs to be assessed by a judge, who'll need to decide if enough people have been affected by the data harvesting. It said it would require housing, employment, and credit advertisers to "self-certify" that their ads complied with anti-discrimination laws.

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