California
07 November 2013
Reporter: Franki Webb
Securities Lending default image

Facebook seeks to dismiss class


Facebook is seeking to dismiss a proposed class action that accuses the site of illegally using children’s photos and names for advertising purposes.

The lawsuit was filed at US District Court for the Northern District of California in March 2012.

Facebook is allegedly using photos and names of children without the permission of their parents for its endorsement of social ads and sponsored stories to generate revenue, which is paid to Facebook by advertisers every time a user clicks through an ad to the advertiser’s landing page.

In its motion to dismiss the complaint, the social networking site argued that the plaintiffs are not injured by the practice.

But the plaintiffs claim that when an underage user endorses the advertisement, the user cannot prevent their name and likeness from appearing on a Facebook page and cannot remove them while continuing to ‘Like’ the advertisement.

California state law forbids the unauthorised use of a person's name or likeness for commercial purposes, although Facebook’s terms state that users have to consent to their images being used for advertising, according to the original complaint.

Earlier this year, a judge ruled that Facebook must pay $20 million to settle a class-action lawsuit. The suit was taken out by Facebook users whose pictures were used in sponsored stories adverts without their permission.

Under the terms of the settlement, Facebook was ordered to amend the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities that governs use of users’ information on the site.

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