Facebook shells out $10m for using users faces in adverts

It's a Book of Faces, get used to it ... bitch


Facebook has settled a suit that could have seen it compensating 150 million people in the United States.

Facebook will pay out $10m to charity to settle a class action lawsuit that challenged the social network for using punters' mugshots in adverts.

The case was settled on Friday, 15 June, and Facebook have agreed to pay out £10m in a cy-pres settlement, meaning the settlement funds can go to charity.

Facebook's practice of using users' names and photos to promote commercial content landed them with a suit back in August 2011, just after they introduced the controversial new feature that did not allow users to opt-out from having their photos and names used to endorse brands. The suit was brought by five users in California, but as a class action would have included all persons in the US who had their Facebook identity used to promote an advert at or before the time of the case - a potential 150 million users, the number of Facebookers in America.

The users claimed that the unauthorised use of photos violated California's privacy law. The sponsored story idea has been rolled out more widely since the beginning of 2012.

Judge Lucy Koh referenced several quotations from Facebook chiefs explaining how the friend-endorsed adverts were much more valuable for advertisers. Koh said Californian law would favour the plantiffs.

"California has long recognized a right to protect one's name and likeness against appropriation by others for their advantage," Koh wrote.

Facebook is facing similar suits elsewhere, including one in Canada. ®

U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Angel Fraley et al., individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated vs. Facebook Inc., 11-cv-1726.


Other stories you might like

  • Cheers ransomware hits VMware ESXi systems
    Now we can say extortionware has jumped the shark

    Another ransomware strain is targeting VMware ESXi servers, which have been the focus of extortionists and other miscreants in recent months.

    ESXi, a bare-metal hypervisor used by a broad range of organizations throughout the world, has become the target of such ransomware families as LockBit, Hive, and RansomEXX. The ubiquitous use of the technology, and the size of some companies that use it has made it an efficient way for crooks to infect large numbers of virtualized systems and connected devices and equipment, according to researchers with Trend Micro.

    "ESXi is widely used in enterprise settings for server virtualization," Trend Micro noted in a write-up this week. "It is therefore a popular target for ransomware attacks … Compromising ESXi servers has been a scheme used by some notorious cybercriminal groups because it is a means to swiftly spread the ransomware to many devices."

    Continue reading
  • Twitter founder Dorsey beats hasty retweet from the board
    As shareholders sue the social network amid Elon Musk's takeover scramble

    Twitter has officially entered the post-Dorsey age: its founder and two-time CEO's board term expired Wednesday, marking the first time the social media company hasn't had him around in some capacity.

    Jack Dorsey announced his resignation as Twitter chief exec in November 2021, and passed the baton to Parag Agrawal while remaining on the board. Now that board term has ended, and Dorsey has stepped down as expected. Agrawal has taken Dorsey's board seat; Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor has assumed the role of Twitter's board chair. 

    In his resignation announcement, Dorsey – who co-founded and is CEO of Block (formerly Square) – said having founders leading the companies they created can be severely limiting for an organization and can serve as a single point of failure. "I believe it's critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction," Dorsey said. He didn't respond to a request for further comment today. 

    Continue reading
  • Snowflake stock drops as some top customers cut usage
    You might say its valuation is melting away

    IPO darling Snowflake's share price took a beating in an already bearish market for tech stocks after filing weaker than expected financial guidance amid a slowdown in orders from some of its largest customers.

    For its first quarter of fiscal 2023, ended April 30, Snowflake's revenue grew 85 percent year-on-year to $422.4 million. The company made an operating loss of $188.8 million, albeit down from $205.6 million a year ago.

    Although surpassing revenue expectations, the cloud-based data warehousing business saw its valuation tumble 16 percent in extended trading on Wednesday. Its stock price dived from $133 apiece to $117 in after-hours trading, and today is cruising back at $127. That stumble arrived amid a general tech stock sell-off some observers said was overdue.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022