Facebook ordered to compensate users for sharing details on ads

Plaintiffs complaining that their likeness had been used in adverts without their permission received $15 each

A US judge ruled on Monday that Facebook must pay out $20 million to settle a class-action lawsuit. The suit was taken out by Facebook users whose pictures were used in “sponsored stories” adverts without their permission.

The money will be divided between users, attorneys and various non-profit advocacy groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Approximately 614,000 users will receive individual payouts of $15 each.

The suit was first filed in 2011 in response to Facebook’s “sponsored stories” advertisements. Users who had ‘liked’ a certain brand could then have their name and likeness used in future adverts by the company on the social website.

In an official statement regarding the ruling, US District Judge Richard Seeborg said: “Although the monetary relief to each class member is relatively small and the percentage of class members who submitted claims is limited, the settlement as a whole provides fair, reasonable, and adequate relief to the class, in light of all the circumstances, including the low probability that a substantially better result would be obtained through continued litigation.”

Although Judge Seeborg ruled in favour of compensation to the plaintiffs he reiterates that they “faced a substantial burden in showing they were injured by the Sponsored Stories”:

"Sponsored Stories, in Facebook's view, does nothing more than take information users have already voluntarily disclosed to their ‘friends’, and sometimes redisplays it to the same persons, in a column that also contains more traditional paid advertising," 

Under the terms of the settlement Facebook will also be required to amend the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities that governs use of users’ information on the site, as well as provide greater information about similar schemes in the future.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Guru Careers: Account Manager

    £30 - 38k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a digitally focussed Account Man...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Java

    £24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This exciting and disruptive co...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP / MySQL / HTML / CSS

    £23000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion, this digital ...

    Recruitment Genius: Application Support Analyst

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company has a fantastic opportunity for a...

    Day In a Page

    A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

    Britain's Atlantis

    Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

    David Starkey's assessment
    Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

    'An enormous privilege and adventure'

    Oliver Sacks writing about his life
    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
    Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

    Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

    Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
    Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

    Orthorexia nervosa

    How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
    Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

    Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

    Set a pest to catch a pest

    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
    Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

    The dark side of Mexico

    A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
    Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

    Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

    Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935