Print 9 comment(s) - last by Initium.. on Jun 22 at 8:40 PM

  (Source: zagg)
The suit was actually settled last month, but wasn't made public until now

Facebook landed itself in yet another privacy lawsuit over the use of "Sponsored Stories," and will now have to pay $10 million to settle it.

Facebook's Sponsored Stories are advertisements that contain a friend's name, profile picture and text indicating that that particular friend "likes" the product, service, or person being advertised. These ads act as a recommendation from that friend, but there's one problem -- that Facebook friend knows nothing about it, and they're not being compensated for acting as a referral. They also can't opt out.

Five Facebook members sued the social network for these Sponsored Stories, saying that this practice violates California law. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Jose, California.

The suit was actually settled last month, but wasn't made public until now. According to the lawsuit, this could have included one of every three Americans, meaning Facebook could have been in some serious hot water and paid billions if word got out.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh found that Facebook's Sponsored Stories could cause "economic injury" by using friends' names, likenesses and pictures. She ordered a cy-pres settlement, meaning Facebook's $10 million would be sent to charity.

According to Facebook, Sponsored Story advertisements are up to three times more valuable than a regular Facebook ad.

It looks like Facebook is dropping lots of dough lately, with the expansion of its headquarters in Menlo Park, California from 2,200 employees to 6,600, a recent $1 billion Instagram purchase, a possible Opera purchase for $1 billion, and an expected smartphone launch by next year.

Source: Reuters

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By Initium on 6/22/2012 8:40:16 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you for taking up this issue. I could not agree more. These companies have become faceless, soulless entities that are virtually impossible to contact let alone get any feedback from. I have used Google for years and have many issues that have never been addressed and would improve my experience with their service but have never been able to find a way to contact them directly and have never received a single reply from any of their forums from Google itself. FB is not a company I will have any truck with at all. They can track me as much as they like. I cannot stop them doing what they do but I can refuse to be a member of their fraternity and participate in the silliness that is social networking. Social networking seems like a good idea but has become more like public masturbation and now only serves big companies to market products. More advertising, something the world needs desperately.

Having a clear and easy to use link on Google's homepage would be a great idea. Actually replying to feedback would show Google does listen and care about the service they provide as opposed to just selling the data they collect to marketers. And make no mistake Google, if you are monitoring this website, your service is far from ideal. Listening to your customers is the best way to improve your service. But you appear to be completely ambivalent to the point of condescension. Sooner or later that is going to come back to bite you. Like all arrogant companies your hubris will be your undoing.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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