US Court Will Not Challenge Facebook Privacy Settlement
US appeals court rejected the claims that £5.8m settlement favours Facebook and lawyers
A US appeals court has voted not to challenge the $9.5 million settlement agreed between Facebook and the plaintiffs of a class action lawsuit which alleged that the social network had violated its member’s privacy rights.
The Facebook privacy lawsuit related to a 2007 product named Beacon, which allowed users to share Internet activity, such as purchases or movie rentals with their entire friend network. However, Facebook did not require users to consent to participate in the programme and withdrew the service after a number of complaints and the negative publicity that ensued.
Facebook Privacy Settlement
A group of 19 plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit in a federal court against Facebook and other business who participated in the Beacon project. They eventually settled for $9.5 million, of which $3 million has been set aside for attorneys’ fees, with the remainder used to establish a charity dedicated to online privacy rights.
The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 in favour of the decision, with one dissenting judge arguing that those who suffered damage from the exposure of personal details would not receive anything, and that the settlement favoured Facebook and the plaintiff’s attorneys.
The court said that the settlement amount was appropriate and that they saw nothing that would justify intervention. Facebook welcomed the decision, while the plaintiffs’ attorneys said that they were looking forward to the formation of the privacy group.
For the last few years, Facebook has been plagued by privacy lawsuits and accusations. Last month, it agreed a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission that would see it monitored for the next 20 years.
Earlier this summer, Facebook agreed to pay $10m (£6.4m) to a charity chosen by the plaintiffs of a lawsuit filed in San Jose, California that accused the social network of violating users rights to control use of their own names, photographs and likeness as defined under Californian Law.
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