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Tech Firms Stand with Facebook
By: Jessica Cherok
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Some of the biggest tech companies have come out in support of Facebook’s fight against turning over user data to a New York court.

Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, Dropbox, and Yelp are just some of the companies who filed papers with the court arguing that the court’s request for data violated the First and Fourth Amendments. The court requested photos, messages, and post information as part of a fraud case. In all, 381 users’ data was requested, but only 62 of those were actually charged.

According to Facebook, it was the largest request for data ever received.

Facebook fought against turning over the data, but was overruled. Apparently, most upsetting to the tech companies is the fact that there has been a gag order put in place. This meant that Facebook could not tell any of the affected users their information had been requested or was turned over. The prosecutor has argued that the gag order was necessary so the case would not be compromised.

Still, the tech firms — and many users — worry this type of legal precedence will only harm users’ privacy in the future. After all, 319 people had their information turned over, but were never charged, leaving many privacy advocates to wonder whether there was sufficient cause to turn the information over in the first place.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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