Facebook sued over collection of mobile call and text data

The lawsuit says Facebook didn't tell users what data it was collecting from their phones.

Laura Hautala
Laura Hautala
Laura Hautala Former Senior Writer
Laura wrote about e-commerce and Amazon, and she occasionally covered cool science topics. Previously, she broke down cybersecurity and privacy issues for CNET readers. Laura is based in Tacoma, Washington, and was into sourdough before the pandemic.
Expertise E-commerce, Amazon, earned wage access, online marketplaces, direct to consumer, unions, labor and employment, supply chain, cybersecurity, privacy, stalkerware, hacking. Credentials
  • 2022 Eddie Award for a single article in consumer technology
Laura Hautala
2 min read
A mobile phone shows a settings page from a Facebook app. The phone is held in front of a computer screen showing a similar page from the Facebook website.

A Facebook user sued the company Wednesday over alleged collection of user call information on Android phones with a Facebook app installed.

Alina Bradford/CNET

John Condelles III installed two Facebook apps on the Android phone he bought in 2016. Now he's suing the social network for its alleged collection of information on calls and text messages on all Android phones with a Facebook app installed.

Filed in federal court in California, the lawsuit seeks to hold Facebook liable for allegedly violating the privacy of all Android users who installed a Facebook app while the data collection occurred. 

The lawsuit comes as Facebook tries to recover from an uproar over its handling of personal data. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress in April to answer questions about data collection after reports from the Guardian and the Observer as well as the New York Times revealed that political consultancy Cambridge Analytica had improperly accessed the data of 87 million Facebook users.

Condelles' lawyers argue that Facebook never made it clear to users that the apps would scrape the data, which they say  included metadata about calls and texts such as the recipients of text messages, and the time and duration of phone calls

"The terms of service and privacy notice materials do not inform (and in the past have not informed) the ordinary and reasonably attentive Facebook user that installing the application on a mobile device will result in the logging of all the user's phone and text communications," the legal complaint says.

Facebook declined to comment for this story.

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