A judge dismissed a lawsuit accusing Facebook of tracking users’ web browsing activity even after they logged out of the social networking site, reports The Guardian, which added:

“The plaintiffs alleged that Facebook used the “like” buttons found on other websites to track which sites they visited, meaning that the Menlo Park, California-headquartered company could build up detailed records of their browsing history. The plaintiffs argued that this violated federal and state privacy and wiretapping laws.

“US district judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, dismissed the case because he said that the plaintiffs failed to show that they had a reasonable expectation of privacy or suffered any realistic economic harm or loss.

“Davila said that plaintiffs could have taken steps to keep their browsing histories private, for example by using the Digital Advertising Alliance’s opt-out tool or using “incognito mode”, and failed to show that Facebook illegally “intercepted” or eavesdropped on their communications.

“Clicking on the Facebook “like” button on a third party website – for example, theguardian.com – allows people to share pieces of content to Facebook without having to copy and paste the link into a status update on the social network.

“When a user visits a page with an embedded “like” button, the web browser sends information to both Facebook and the server where the page is located.

““The fact that a user’s web browser automatically sends the same information to both parties does not establish that one party intercepted the user’s communication with the other,” said Davila.

“The plaintiffs cannot bring privacy and wiretapping claims again, Davila said, but can pursue a breach of contract claim again.”

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