Facebook Sponsored Stories Class Action Lawsuit Settlement – $10 Million
The amount of the Facebook Sponsored Stories Class Action Lawsuit Settlement is $10 million. This money will unfortunately go to charity. If you are a Facebook user, you will not get any of the money at all. Even the five Facebook users who sued the site for using them in their Sponsored Stories ads without asking them for permission will not get anything. These users’ faces and names were used. This is a violation of the California right to publicity law.
For those of you who are not familiar with this, in a Sponsored Story there is an ad for a product that shows up on the Facebook page of the person. Apparently the product also displays the friends of the user who also likes the advertisers. The names and pictures are displayed. Facebook believes that ads that are endorsed are better than regular ads. However they have violated the law because they have used people’s faces and names for commercial reasons without asking for their consent. This is not good at all.
The $10 million in settlement will not go to the users because it is just not feasible as there is such a large number of users. So instead the money will go to charity. So the users basically get nothing. This is sad but that is the way it is sometimes that those who are the victims are the ones that get the least. The only thing you will get as a user of Facebook is more control over how your name appears in Sponsored Stories. You will also be able to do stop certain actions from showing up. It is not much and I for one am not happy that we do not get anything.
I am surprised at how many lawsuits Facebook has had to face. I guess that is what comes of a large public site. There will always be someone whose feelings are offended. Sometimes some class action lawsuits are frivolous. However, many of the lawsuits against Facebook have been legit. The cookie tracking your Internet movements was the scariest for me. I know that you are never 100% safe when you surf the web but to have a cookie on my desktop that tracks my movements even when that application is not open really scares me. Wonder what else is going on that I do not know about.
Facebook has become such a daily habit for many people that they do not think about what this site is doing. I even heard on the radio that one couple was going to change their Facebook Status to “married” the moment that they got married. All I can say is, “What is this world coming to?”. Can’t you get married without Facebook being present? Apparently not. I heard another story where a woman would not go on a second date with a guy she liked because she could not find him on Facebook. Her logic was that if he does not exist in Facebook then he must be hiding something. Seriously? I know a lot of people who do not have Facebook accounts and will never have one. So I do not understand that logic. Not having an account on the social networking site does not make you a bad person. To me it just means that you are a private person who wants to keep your life private. Why would you want to advertise to the world that you are not feeling well or that you need a cup of coffee?
I guess with the abundance and success of reality TV shows, everyone want to know what everyone is doing every second of the day. I for one am a very private person and do not post any pictures online if I can help it. Why share online when you can send pictures via instant messaging or email. I prefer to send pictures via instant messaging as I know that that picture only goes to the person I wanted to have it – not the rest of the world. So I for one am glad that social networking sites like Facebook do get punished when they overstep their boundaries and take advantage of other people’s privacy even though the users do not get anything out of this one.
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