Feeds

Unconsenting Facebookers exposed by Beacon denied payouts

Lawyers get rich, plaintiffs get 'not a nickel'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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". ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.