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Judge approves Facebook $20m sponsored stories privacy settlement

27 Aug 2013

Facebook has had its $20m privacy settlement for users who complained about its sponsored stories service approved by a US judge.

The case was brought in 2011 by a group of users who were angered by the use of their images in sponsored Facebook posts, which they had not been consulted over.

Facebook proposed the settlement last October, doubling the original amount from $10m, to offer compensation, legal fees and money for charities relevant to privacy issues, after its initial $10m deal was rejected.

This proposal has now been approved, according to Reuters, after the judge that has been overseeing the case since its started, Richard Seeborg, wrote on Monday that the offer, "while not incorporating all features that some of the objectors might prefer, has significant value."

Facebook welcomed the decision in a statement: “We are pleased that the settlement has received final approval," it said.

The decision is another piece of good news for Facebook after its share price returned to its original $38 flotation value at the end of July. Share value had previously plummeted to $17 per share in September 2012 – less than half of the initial value.

This came on the back of strong financials, particularly with regards to mobile advertising, as investors see long-term value in the firm.

Facebook recently purchased speech translation firm Mobile Technologies, in a move to enhance the voice capabilities of its site for mobile users, as the company seeks to empower more people than ever before to get online.

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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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