Could Accessing Your Own Data On Facebook Make You Criminally Liable?
from the hopefully-a-court-says-otherwise dept
We’ve been following the rather bizarre and dangerous lawsuit filed by Facebook against Power.com, an online service that tries to let users aggregate various social networking activity into a single service. All Power.com does is let a willing user have Power.com’s tools log into Facebook and reuse/reformat the data within its own framework. From a user’s perspective, this could be quite useful. From Facebook’s perspective this is both a violation of copyright law and a violation of computer hacking laws. Why? Because Facebook says so. That is, it says so in its terms of service, and it’s arguing that in ignoring the terms of service, Power.com is criminally hacking.
The EFF has filed a new amici brief in the case pointing out the logical problems with this argument. It’s saying that if a user chooses to access his or her own data that is stored in Facebook, using a tool of his or her own choice… that can open themselves up to criminal liability, just because it violates some random term in Facebook’s terms of service. That clearly seems to go way beyond the purpose of anti-computer hacking laws: