Feeds

Lawsuit says Facebook plunders user names, photos

Seeks $1m for (alleged) Friend Finder sins

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.