Facebook’s recent entry into the public stock market has been a long time coming. Speculations began in 2010 as to when and how the entry will take place. One thing was agreed on across the board though; it would be huge. So huge, in fact, that its initial listing valuation on May 18th 2012, seemed to fall short of the hype coming in at only $104 billion.   However, this monumental occasion was sullied somewhat by the filing of a massive lawsuit the same day as the listing. $15 billion was the set price of the collection of over 20 lawsuits filed over a battle with Facebook’s privacy.   The collective lawsuit aims to put a stop to the social network’s recently discovered ability to track the web history and usage of its members even after they have logged out of their accounts in order to better target them with personalized adverts and recommendations.   Having listed as a public IPO, Facebook will now need to rev up its revenue intake in order to remain competitive and keep shareholders happy. This will ultimately mean increasing revenue from advertising. This advertising revenue is responsible for (roughly) 80% of the company’s overall yearly revenue, and the ability to customize advertising to suit user profiles has been keeping advertisers interested in paying for valuable Facebook advertising. For instance, Facebook representatives have explained that female users that have recently changed their relationship status to ‘engaged’ will be targeted with adverts and links to bridal boutiques and dress or jewelry stores.   This lawsuit is not only a huge obstacle for Facebook, but may also set a precedent for online social media privacy functionality in future. The question is not how much access social networks should be given to our private lives, but rather how much access they should be allowed to take without our knowledge. The outcome of this lawsuit will surely have a notable effect on the state of social media and privacy for years to come.   See a related article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18180861#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa