Launch of Facebook Timelines Being Delayed for Legal Reasons

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Whoops. More legal trouble for Facebook is delaying the expected launch of a new product called Facebook Timeline.

Turns out someone else may have had the idea first. A Chicago-based Web site called Timelines.com is suing the social networking giant, hoping to get a temporary restraining order against the debut of Facebook Timeline, claiming the new Facebook feature will threaten its business, reported Mashable today.  Although a federal judge has refused to grant the temporary restraining order, Facebook today promised to delay a full launch until the issue has been looked at more carefully.

Facebook Timeline is a new feature that will sort through the information in users’ profiles put together sort of a scrapbook of the past, consisting of statuses, posts, photos and comments. It was expected to launch this week. Over one million people have requested developer access to the feature.

Timelines.com, through its patent lawsuit, had attempted to get the judge to order Facebook to stop allowing users from signing on to Facebook Timeline through the developer program. Though the judge refused to go that far, he did order Facebook to keep him updated as to how many new developers were enabling Timeline, said Mashable.

Representatives from both Facebook and Timelines.com will meet a different federal judge tomorrow to determine whether Facebook can go ahead with the launch or must delay it again while the legal particulars are worked out. .

You can see a copy of Timelines.com's formal legal document on Mashable's Web site.

Facebook Timeline may have more problems ahead of it, since it has been a concern of privacy advocates since it was announced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last month.

A group comprised of 10 privacy and consumer groups recently wrote to the Federal Trade Commission raising security and privacy risks objections to Timeline, reported TechWorldNews.


Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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