Facebook settles lawsuit with angry users
FACEBOOK has settled a lawsuit with five users who were angry about their profiles being used in adverts on the site.
The legal case, which began last year after users were annoyed about their faces being used as part of Facebook’s ‘sponsored stories’ – which allow brands to use the photos and names of people who have ‘liked’ their brand in their adverts on the social network.
At the time a Facebook spokesman said: “We are reviewing the decision and continue to believe that the case is without merit.”
However, the social network, which is struggling to retain its huge valuation post its flotation last week, has now settled the proposed class action lawsuit. The details of the settlement are not yet known and Facebook has declined to comment.
Last year, in a BBC documentary about Facebook, presenter Emily Maitlis asked Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s head of global communications and public policy, about this type of controversial activity on the site.
He said that by people clicking the ‘like’ button on brands’ Facebook pages, was them effectively giving their consent for their name to be allied to that company and endorsing it in a sponsored story or advert.
The case is the first one of its kind to have made any progress in the courts. Previous similar cases have been thrown out or have failed.
However, if the case had succeeded, consumer rights groups had hoped it could mean a major change as to one of the ways Facebook makes money out of marketing brands.