Information from social networking website Facebook has helped New York prosecutors solve a large number of fraud cases. The company, however, is still fighting officials' use of warrants to access its users' accounts, which it says is unconstitutional.
Reuters citing a court document filed by the Manhattan District Attorney's office in a state appeals court, reported that state prosecutors secured more than $18m (€14m, £11m) in a series of fraud cases aided by access to Facebook users' data.
Data from Facebook also led to 130 indictments of civil servants, including police officers and firefighters, for Social Security fraud, according to the document.
The prosecutors served warrants to access 381 users' photos, private messages and other account information.
Various government agencies have been forcefully using user data from technology giants, who have massive databases, in order to help reduce their job burden.
Facebook has been criticising such access to data as unconstitutional, and is challenging the warrants in court. It has been supported in the claim by other technology companies and civil liberties groups including Google, Microsoft, Twitter and American Civil Liberties Union.
A five-judge panel will hear the case in December.
A victory for Facebook would not directly impact the pending fraud cases, but could lead to judges throwing out evidence taken from the site in some cases, according to Reuters.
In the court filing, the district attorney said Facebook cannot assert its constitutional rights on their behalf, urging the court to reject Facebook's claim that all its customers have an expectation of privacy when using the site.
"Some customers treat their accounts as 'digital homes,' and maintain some degree of privacy," the filing said.
"Others treat their accounts more as digital billboards, broadcasting material to dozens or even hundreds of others, thus abandoning any claim of privacy."