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Facebook Moves to Throw Out Location Tracking Lawsuit

Nov. 18, 2019, 6:20 PM

Facebook Inc. has asked a California federal district court to toss a lawsuit alleging that it tracked user locations without consent, saying the plaintiffs didn’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

The plaintiffs lacked standing to sue for alleged privacy violations and Facebook’s use of location information is a routine practice, according to the company’s motion to dismiss filed Nov. 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The social media giant may face a challenge persuading U.S. District Court Judge James Donato to end the suit, because the Northern District of California has allowed other plaintiffs to defeat tech companies’ early challenges to privacy complaints.

Facebook faces misrepresentation, breach of contract, and invasion of privacy claims from plaintiffs Brendan Lundy and Myriah Watkins, who are seeking to represent a proposed class. They allege that mobile operating system providers and social media platforms use internet protocol addresses for location tracking without their knowledge or ability to opt out.

In its motion, Facebook said its practices are not “egregious” breaches of social norms. It also pointed out that the plaintiffs “still use Facebook even after discovering” the company’s location-tracking practices.

Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The case is Lundy v. Facebook Inc., N.D. Cal., No. 18-cv-06793, motion to dismiss 11/15/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel R. Stoller in Washington at dstoller@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Hughes at jhughes@bloomberglaw.com; Keith Perine at kperine@bloomberglaw.com