Facebook Privacy Class Action Filed by Lanier Firm Voluntarily Dismissed — Melkonian v. Facebook

[Post by Venkat]

Melkonian v. Facebook, Orange County Superior Court Case No. 30-2009-00293755-CU-BT-CJC [complaint]

In August of last year, prominent plaintiffs’ lawyer Mark Lanier filed a privacy lawsuit against Facebook on behalf of a group of plaintiffs. [WSJ Law blog] [Techdirt] The complaint seemed sort of all over the place, with no core allegations of misconduct by Facebook. The fact that it was filed by the Lanier Firm (which, incidentally, has a Facebook page, as does Mark Lanier) made it noteworthy.

Curiously, the lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice. [dismissal] It’s somewhat old news (the dismissal was entered in early February), but given that there’s been no public mention of it, I thought it was worth noting. If there’s a backstory, I’m definitely curious about it.

Note: Although Facebook dodged a bullet by settling the Beacon class action against it, and getting rid of this case, this is far from the end of Facebook’s privacy woes. There are another couple of class actions against Facebook arising out of Facebook’s recent revisions of its privacy settings. (Wendy Davis reports on those suits, which were recently consolidated here.) And Facebook implemented yet another set of privacy changes, which brought about a fresh round of criticism. (“Facebook Keeps Chipping Away at User Privacy“; “Facebook Mulls Privacy Changes, Causes More Outrage“.)