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Zynga In Class-Action Suit Over Privacy Breach
Zynga In Class-Action Suit Over Privacy Breach
October 20, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

October 20, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

The Facebook privacy breach uncovered earlier this week has led to a lawsuit. A class-action lawsuit has been filed against social gaming giant Zynga, accusing it of deliberately sharing users' personal data.

Nancy Graf of St. Paul, Minnesota filed the suit against the FarmVille developer in San Francisco federal court, seeking monetary relief for users whose data was improperly shared, plus an injunction to prevent further such "abuses", according to a report in PC Magazine.

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook allowed its partners, including gaming companies that offer their social games on the service, access to user IDs and other data that in some cases was allegedly improperly transmitted.

Apps reviewed by the Journal's report were found to be sending Facebook ID numbers to at least 25 advertising and data firms, several of which build profiles of Internet users by tracking their online activities.

Social gaming company LOLapps (Gift Creator, Quiz Creator) had its titles suspended in the snafu, although they were quickly restored thereafter. The company said the security breach was not due to intentions of its own, but "because of the technical details of how browsers work."

In a statement to media outlets, Zynga said: "We believe that the complaint is without merit and we intend to defend against it vigorously."

The class-action suit's co-lead attorney, Edelson McGuire LLC's Michael Aschenbrener, called the privacy breach "another example of an online company failing the American public with empty promises to respect individual privacy rights."

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Bart Stewart
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This has all the marks of being one of those cases where the only winners are the lawyers.

David Rodriguez
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@ Bart

Agreed, everyone victimized isn't going to be compensated anything if Zynga is guilty. Lawyers paid and fines issued, just another day.

I wonder if other company's like LOLapps could be part of the suit to due that breach weeks ago? I guess it all depends on the estimated damage easily making Zynga the #1 target. It's been pretty clear (right out of the CEO's Mouth) Zynga has been involved in questionable practices to create fast revenue. I'm no legal pimp but If it's all true, Zynga's only defense is explaining how they legally went about these business practices (tiny type font warnings to users at the bottom?). I wonder if something like this will bust the doors open for further court battles...

Mike Weldon
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And us casual bystanders... Oh look, a car crash!