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Facebook agrees $10m privacy complaint settlement

18 Jun 2012
Faecbook website frontpage

Facebook has agreed to pay $10m to charity in a settlement with five users of its site that were angry their images were used within adverts without their explicit permission.

The case was brought against the firm after users complained Facebook had publicised items they had "liked" in its sponsored stories ads, without compensation or opt-out options.

Facebook's sponsored stories system then turned users "likes" into paid advertisements that included the user's name and profile picture.

It was confirmed Facebook had reached a settlement package in May and Reuters reported on Monday that the figure agreed upon was $10m, which will be given to charity.

V3 contacted Facebook for confirmation but the firm said it had no comment.

According to Reuters, the court filing by judge Lucy Koh noted that Facebook had been in the wrong, based on long-established legal principles.

"California has long recognised a right to protect one's name and likeness against appropriation by others for their advantage," Koh wrote.

The settlement will only make a small dent in the firm's cash holdings but comes on the back of its disappointing launch on the stock market, which saw its share price slump amid accusations the firm was not totally transparent with its financial estimates.

The firm's chief technical officer also announced he was stepping down from his role to launch his own start-up on Friday in another blow to the company.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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