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Amid Facebook Privacy Concerns, a Rhody Lawsuit

Amid concerns over recent shifts in Facebook's privacy settings, a class-action lawsuit out of Rhode Island that may be the first of its kind. Here's a press release from Providence lawyer Peter N. Wasylyk, who also serves as a state representative:

Providence, RI, May 22, 2010 – Derrick Rose of East Providence, Rhode Island has announced today that he has filed a class action lawsuit against Facebook in Federal Court in Rhode Island over privacy concerns relating to Facebook’s “Instant Personalization,” a social networking tool that allows certain third-party websites to access users’ personal information which they've uploaded to Facebook when users visit those third-party websites, such as Pandora, Yelp, or Microsoft's Docs.com.  Facebook hopes to broaden the program in coming months.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island, alleges that Facebook’s “Instant Personalization” feature has violated users’ privacy rights and seeks to certify a national class of Facebook users.

“The activation of Instant Personalization and the sharing of information about users with unrelated third party websites violated users reasonable expectations of privacy,” the lawsuit claims.

“Social networking sites like Facebook are continuing to put profits over privacy and users are demanding control over the use of their personal information on the internet,”  said Attorney Peter N. Wasylyk, Mr. Rose’s attorney.  

Peter N. Wasylyk is a consumer rights attorney from the State of Rhode Island.

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