Feeds

Facebook shells out $10m for using users faces in adverts

It's a Book of Faces, get used to it ... bitch

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Facebook has settled a suit that could have seen it compensating 150 million people in the United States.

Facebook will pay out $10m to charity to settle a class action lawsuit that challenged the social network for using punters' mugshots in adverts.

The case was settled on Friday, 15 June, and Facebook have agreed to pay out £10m in a cy-pres settlement, meaning the settlement funds can go to charity.

Facebook's practice of using users' names and photos to promote commercial content landed them with a suit back in August 2011, just after they introduced the controversial new feature that did not allow users to opt-out from having their photos and names used to endorse brands. The suit was brought by five users in California, but as a class action would have included all persons in the US who had their Facebook identity used to promote an advert at or before the time of the case - a potential 150 million users, the number of Facebookers in America.

The users claimed that the unauthorised use of photos violated California's privacy law. The sponsored story idea has been rolled out more widely since the beginning of 2012.

Judge Lucy Koh referenced several quotations from Facebook chiefs explaining how the friend-endorsed adverts were much more valuable for advertisers. Koh said Californian law would favour the plantiffs.

"California has long recognized a right to protect one's name and likeness against appropriation by others for their advantage," Koh wrote.

Facebook is facing similar suits elsewhere, including one in Canada. ®

U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Angel Fraley et al., individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated vs. Facebook Inc., 11-cv-1726.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?