Facebook Advertising Meets Class Action …

A couple of years ago, Connie Crosby mentioned on Slaw (third comment) that she had been surprised to discover that when she ‘Liked’ a page (by joining a ‘fan club’) devoted to a product, her name later appeared in advertisements for that product on her Facebook friends’ pages.

A number of others appear to have been not only surprised but offended at this practice. They brought a class action against Facebook for the practice, an action now settled for $20 million. Whether Connie gets a share of that, I can’t say. Probably not enough to fund a bottle of Canadian Club, even if she still likes it.

Has FB changed its ways, or just put a clearer notice on its site that it can do this kind of thing with products we ‘Like’?

[h/t Adam Vereshack]

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Comments

  1. Someone in BC started a class action about those Facebook ads too: http://www.straight.com/news/408916/reasonable-doubt-does-facebook-violate-privacy-laws-bc

  2. Thanks, John. This was the first that I heard of it. Unfortunately I had to have submitted a claim form by May 2 to be able to collect my $15. Too bad!

    I notice the Computerworld article–like most mainstream media–neglected to include details (such as court, judge, lawyer names, party name) that would actually help someone look up the claim. Here is what I found:

    The class action was filed as Fraley v. Facebook, Inc. There is a website for the claim that includes (presumably all) court documents: http://www.fraleyfacebooksettlement.com/

    Public Citizen also have related materials:
    http://www.citizen.org/litigation/forms/cases/getlinkforcase.cfm?cID=821
    http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/pressroomredirect.cfm?ID=3925

    I guess it all comes down to expectations. While I was both surprised and offended by what happened, I considered it just one more piece of evidence revealing the true business acumen of Facebook. But, I am glad there are people trying to hold them to account.