Feeds

Unconsenting Facebookers exposed by Beacon denied payouts

Lawyers get rich, plaintiffs get 'not a nickel'

Boost IT visibility and business value

A US appeals court has refused to add to Facebook's $9.5m settlement sea in a class action suit brought over the network's creepy adware service Beacon.

The now-defunct Beacon watched Facebookers as they shopped on affiliate websites and then displayed their purchases on their profile pages. Unfortunately, the social network neglected to ask anyone if they actually wanted to be opted in to the service, leading to widespread condemnation that eventually forced the firm to abandon the scheme.

The class action suit was filed by 19 people who wanted to see Facebook and other businesses who took part in Beacon in court. But Facebook quickly decided to settle the suit with $9.5m, $3m for the plaintiffs' attorneys and the rest to set up a foundation to promote online privacy.

The plaintiffs were naturally pretty ticked off, since they were getting nothing. They tried to argue that the settlement wasn't good enough because a Facebook employee would sit on the board of the new foundation and the pot wasn't good enough.

But the judges voted 2-1 to keep the settlement as it is. The one judge who wanted to up the ante said that the deal was unfair and only really helped lawyers and Facebook.

"This settlement perverts the class action into a device for depriving victims of remedies for wrongs, while enriching both the wrongdoers and the lawyers purporting to represent the class," Judge Andrew Kleinfeld said in the order.

"Facebook users who had suffered damages from past exposure of their purchases got no money, not a nickel, from the defendants."

However, the other judges outvoted him, saying that there was no reason to view the deal as other than "substantial". ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
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.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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?