A court settlement ordered the social media network to pay plaintiffs $15 each for using their information in advertisements.
Dado Ruvic/ Reuters/ File
Facebook has built an empire on getting to know its users’ preferences, sometimes with a frightening accuracy. A while back, the company launched a new advertising campaign called “Sponsored Stories” that incorporated users’ “likes” into advertisements. It offered peer endorsement of products and a way for Facebook to make money. But the new ad format was a step too far for many individuals, who were concerned about unknowingly having their name woven into an advertisement.
A lawsuit that accused Facebook of misappropriating users’ images ended with a settlement on Monday.
The agreement states that the social media site has to pay approximately 614,000 Facebook users $15 each for using their information for advertising purposes. While approximately 150 million Facebook users’ images and likenesses were allegedly used to promote products and services through the Sponsored Stories program, only users who entered a claim form by May 2, 2013, were eligible to receive settlement funds.
It is far from clear that any of the users featured in the advertisements were “actually harmed in any meaningful way,” writes US District Judge Richard Seeborg in the statement.