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Over the holidays many people seem to have either gotten notices of the Fraley vs Facebook settlement, or Fraley versus Facebook has otherwise been brought to their attention. Many people are wondering whether Fraley vs Facebook is a hoax, or hoping to find that Fraley v. Facebook is legit. Well, we’re here to tell you that it’s legit. Read on.
As we first reported earlier this year, the Fraley vs Facebook lawsuit is about Facebook using their users in advertising, particularly in the so-called ‘sponsored stories’. The issue is that Facebook didn’t have the informed consent of their users, and sometimes even minors were used without their parent’s consent.
So a class action lawsuit was filed, and now Facebook has settled with the class. Recently a website was put up (presumably by the attorneys involved) specifically dealing with the lawsuit, and this is what they have to say:
Overview of the Proposed Settlement
Fraley, et al. v. Facebook, Inc., et al., Case No. CV-11-01726 RS
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 a “Class Member” in a class action lawsuit (the “Action”).
Sponsored Stories are a form of advertising that typically contain posts which appear on facebook.com about or from a Facebook user or entity that a business, organization, or individual has paid to promote so there is a better chance that the posts will be seen by the user or entity’s chosen audience. For more information about Sponsored Stories, please review the Notice.
A class action lawsuit against Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”) claimed that Facebook unlawfully used Class Members’ names, profile pictures, photographs, likenesses, and identities to advertise or sell products and services through Sponsored Stories, without obtaining Class Members’ consent. Facebook denies any wrongdoing and any liability whatsoever. No court or other entity has made any judgment or other determination of any liability.
What Relief Does the Settlement Provide to Class Members?
Facebook has agreed to:
Pay $20 million into a fund that can be used, in part, to pay claims of Class Members (including Minor Subclass Members) who appeared in a Sponsored Story. Each participating Class Member may be eligible to receive up to $10. The amount, if any, paid to each Authorized Claimant depends upon the number of claims made. No one knows in advance how much each Authorized Claimant will receive, or whether any money will be paid directly to Authorized Claimants. If the number of claims made renders it economically infeasible to pay money to persons who make a timely and valid claim, payment will be made to the not-for-profit organizations identified in Section 7 of the Notice. These organizations are involved in educational outreach that teaches adults and children how to use social media technologies safely, or are involved in research of social media, with a focus on critical thinking around advertising and commercialization, and particularly with protecting the interests of children.
Revise its terms of service (known as the “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities”) relating to Sponsored Stories.
Give users (and minor users’ parents or legal guardians) additional information about and control over the use of their (and their children’s) names and profile pictures in Sponsored Stories.
For more information, see the website at www.fraleyfacebooksettlement.com.
For those curious, the attorneys for the plaintiffs are Jonathan Jaffe, and and the Arns Law Firm. Jaffe is now involved in a class action lawsuit against Skype and Microsoft for improperly changing Skype purchases to auto-renewals.