Feeds

Lawsuit says Facebook plunders user names, photos

Seeks $1m for (alleged) Friend Finder sins

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A federal lawsuit filed on Monday claims Facebook's Friend Finder service uses user names and photos without permission and makes false claims about it usefulness.

The feature encourages users to upload their entire body of email contacts so they can be reunited on the social networking site. Facebook often promotes the service by showing users the names and photos of their friends along with the claim that the friends found many of their Facebook contacts using the Friend Finder service.

“The misappropriation of names, photographs and likenesses alleged herein has a direct commercial purpose, namely, to increase Facebook's user base, thereby increasing the intensity of such use, all for the purpose of generating additional revenues,” the civil complaint, which was filed in US District Court in San Jose, California, states.

“In each instance in which Facebook uses the name and likeness of a Facebook.com user to promote the Friend Finder service without consent, Facebook violates users' statutory and common law rights of publicity, creates a false endorsement and, in so doing, commits unfair competition, all in an effort to increase Facebook's already massive user reach and the corresponding advertising revenue.”

What's more, the complaint claims, many of the people featured in the promos have never even used the contacts upload feature.

The complaint was filed on behalf of five California-based Facebook users and seeks permission to be refiled as a class action so many more people may join. It seeks an award of $750 for each time a class member's name was used without permission and actual damages of at least $100 million.

"We believe this suit is completely frivolous and we will fight it vigorously,” a Facebook spokesman told The Reg. A PDF of the complaint is here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.