Facebook Settles Sponsored Stories Class Action Lawsuit
If you or your child have or have had a Facebook account and a Facebook Sponsored Story featured your or your child’s name or profile picture, you or your child may be entitled to up to $10 by virtue of a new class action settlement. Given the public interest in this case, our class action law firm has provided answers to some of the most common questions about the settlement below.
Sponsored Stories is one of Facebook’s advertising programs that placed user’s names and profile pictures alongside ads for products users had “liked” as a way to promote the product to user’s friends. For example, if you “liked” a brand such as Coca-Cola, then Coke ads would begin surfacing in your friends’ news feeds with your picture next to them. Legions of Facebook members objected to the program, but there was no way for users to opt-out. Soon after, a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of users who objected to their names and likenesses being used to sell products without their consent.
Facebook has now agreed to settle the class action suit for $20 million, as well as alter its terms and conditions to more clearly explain how Sponsored Stories work. The settlement has received preliminary approval by the court, but must still receive final approval after a final fairness hearing.
Class members could receive up to $10 each depending upon the number of claimants coming forward. By way of example, if after legal fees and expenses the settlement fund is $12 million and 1.2 million people make claims, every claimant will get $10. However, if 12 million people make claims, claimants will only get $1 each. If so many people make claims that the amount owed to each class member would be too small to warrant the expense of distribution, then the settlement money will go to a non-profit organization as “the next best thing” to promote the interests of consumers.
Any adult or minor in the U.S. who had a Facebook account and had their name, nickname, profile picture, photograph, likenesses, or identity displayed in a Sponsored Story at any time on or before the court’s Preliminary Approval Order is considered a “Class Member.” If one wishes to be excluded or voice objections to the settlement, he or she must do so on or before May 2, 2013.
Contact our Class Action Lawyers at Audet and Partners, LLP for a free evaluation of your legal options. Call us at (800) 965-1461 or click here to submit a confidential case inquiry form on the right side of this page for more information.