Judge Approves Facebook’s $20M “Sponsored Stories” Settlement


A U.S. District judge has granted final approval to a settlement in which Facebook will pay $20 million for including users’ names and profile photos in its “Sponsored Stories” advertising program without their approval.

The class action lawsuit was first filed by five Facebook users in April 2011, three months after Facebook introduced the targeting advertising program. U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco initially rejected Facebook’s proposed settlement, however, stating that offering cash payments to class members was impractical because it included up to 100 million Facebook users and citing concerns about the deal’s proposed $10 million payout to the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

The revised deal includes a $20 million settlement fund from which the approximately 614,000 users who responded to Facebook’s class action notice can make a claim to receive a cash payment. The settlement also eliminates the “clear sailing” provision, which means that Facebook is now allowed…

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