Zynga faces class-action privacy-centric lawsuit

Posted by Mark Raby

Privacy issues really are the new black, and Facebook is the most fashionable of the bunch. There's a brand new class-action lawsuit against social games publisher Zynga over claims it unlawfully shares private user data through Facebook.

The lawsuit, which is seeking immediate class-action status, says Zynga, the publisher of the most-played and highest revenue-earning game on Facebook, Farmville, is in violation of federal law and also alleges the publisher of breaching its contract with Facebook.

Details about exactly what kind of information is apparently being given out aren't completely specified in the filing. However, Zynga has come under fire recently over the discovery that its games were sending profile data, like user's taste in music and movies, to advertisers. That goes directly against Facebook's privacy guidelines, which haven't exactly been squeaky clean themselves.

"This appears to be another example of an online company failing the American public with empty promises to respect individual privacy rights," said the suit's co-lead attorney Michael Aschenbrener in a statement.

Lawyers want to get Zynga to immediately stop engaging in the unlawful data sharing, and it also seeks "monetary relief" for users.

In response to a USA Today request for comment, Zynga said, "We believe that the complaint is without merit, and we intend to defend against it vigorously."