Facebook Settles Class Action Involving Alleged Improper Sale of Its Users Images

Amid all the complaints against Facebook using private information, comes a story of success for Facebook users. Last year, five members of the social networking site filed a class action lawsuit against the company for allegedly using personal information, such as images of the users for sponsored stories. The users whose pictures were used did not give permission for Facebook to use their image, and they alleged they were not given the opportunity to opt out of having their image publicly used.

After the California judge informed the lawyers representing Facebook that they would not be able to dismiss the case they agreed to settle. The settlement includes up to $10 for each user who objected to having their image used, and a multimillion dollar donation to charity. Combined with legal fees, the total settlement will run the company about $20 million. Facebook has also said that it will add a tool which allows users to view any of their content which may have been used in sponsored stories and opt out of the process.

The settlement recently moved one step closer to resolution when the U. S. District Court judge in charge of the case determined that the settlement “has no obvious deficiencies” and “appears to be the product of serious” negotiations between the lawyers representing Facebook and the plaintiffs. The case has now been preliminarily approved by the judge.

However, the social networking site may not be finished with the court system just yet. The nonprofit Center for Public Interest Law argued that Facebook should be required to obtain consent before using the names or photos of Facebook users under the age of 18. Its attorney, Robert Fellmeth, has said that he would file a further objection and, if necessary, pursue the case in appellate court.

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