Knowing your demographic makes advertising much easier, and while information collection is a given in our constantly connected society, tech companies have gotten heat for going too far in pursuit of that information. Late last week Facebook and Zynga were able to skirt federal penalties regarding wiretapping laws concerning thier message scanning practices. However, the court held that the companies still violated terms of service agreements with customers, opening both to additional legal action. The case could have wide-ranging implications on targeted advertising.
Many messaging platforms, including Google’s Gmail, employ the practices of scanning emails for keywords to target advertisement; as a result many of these tech companies have also seen lawsuits. Plaintiffs allege that this method is an invasion of privacy and should be considered illegal under federal wiretapping prevention laws.