TRILLION DOLLAR CASE?: Meta Sued in MASSIVE CIPA Suit–And if the Allegations Are True It Could Be One of the Largest Lawsuits Ever

Zuck is taking a lot of heat lately for the slow rollout of the Metaverse.

I mean the guy is literally creating a second universe where all the problems of this world don’t exist. I say cut him some slack. Then again, I too am trying to build something incredibly unique, innovative and world-altering–and we iconoclasts have to stick together I suppose.

But one place I will not back Zuck, meta, Facebook, or #bigtech (not as scary sounding as #biglaw, but close) is when it comes to how it (allegedly) treats consumer privacy.

For instance, in a new case filed yesterday under California’s Invasion of Privacy Act a Plaintiff alleges the following:

[E]ven when users do not consent to being tracked, Meta tracks Facebook and Instagram users’ online activity and communications with external third-party websites by injecting JavaScript code into those sites. When a user clicks on a web link within the Facebook, Instagram, or Messenger app, Meta automatically directs them to the in-app browser Meta monitors instead of the user’s default browser. Meta does not tell its users this is happening or explain that they are being tracked.


Now there are some buzz words in there like “tracked” that suggests PII or other personal data is being stored and used in some manner to predict and analyze your behavior–which may or may not be true.

But, as we’ve explained previously, many companies do “track” occurrences on their website for reasons great and small, and mostly legitimate.

The new complaint, however, alleges a very distinct form of “tracking” that, indeed, looks at consumer advertising preferences:

Meta is in the business of selling digital advertising space, which accounted for 97% of its revenue in 2021. Meta’s business model heavily relies on its ability to target individual users, collect their information, understand their individual preferences and dislikes, and use the information to generate profit in the form of valuable targeted advertisements.

Targeted advertisements.

Now is that’s what the Metaverse is going to be about, I’m depressed. Sort of like the matrix turning everyone into batteries.

In any event, the class here is alleged as:

Class: All persons in the United States with active Facebook or Instagram accounts who
visited a third-party external website on Facebook’s or Instagram’s in-app browser
during the Class Period.

Kentucky Subclass: All persons in Kentucky with active Facebook or Instagram
accounts who visited a third-party external website on Facebook’s or Instagram’s in-app
browser during the Class Period.

Not sure how a nationwide class can be brought related to a California statute, but I suppose we’ll have to wait and see. Moreover, the Kentucky class is focused on claims related to common law intrusion upon seclusion torts.

On the CIPA claim the Plaintiff–some lady named SARAH SIJELMASSI– seeks an unspecified amount of damages for the class but the demand is $5,000.00 per website visitor so… yeah, this is about a trillion dollar case.

Obviously we’ll keep an eye on this–these are just allegations at this stage, and I’d be very surprised if Meta wasn’t obtaining consumer consent for its data tracking activities– but suits of this kind show exactly why CIPA is the new TCPA (although the TCPA is still the TCPA as well.)

You can read the complaint here: meta


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