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Lawyers Squeeze $10 Million Out of Facebook

Think about the following scenario: Facebook provides free use of your profile picture to advertisers, without asking you first, simply because you "liked" that company. That is a big privacy no-no and unacceptable use of your profile argued one law firm and felt it has the foundation to sue Facebook.

It sued and scored a settlement. Facebook agreed that it will be changing its terms of use and allow its users to somehow "limit" the use of their images and data. Facebook also agreed to donate $10 million to a charity to calm the outraged souls among us and the law firm is being compensated with up to $10.3 million for its selfless engagement to watch over people's rights. You, the user, whose privacy may have been violated, get zilch. Not even an apology from Facebook - or a thank you from the law firm.

Even worse, Facebook does not stop using profile pictures in ads and does not define how the usage will be limited. With the exception of a note in the terms of use, which Facebook users do not read, and possibly a checkbox somewhere in the site's privacy settings that most of the 970 million-or-so Facebook users visit as often as the pages of the companies they "like", the benefit of suit can be found in the bank accounts of two law firms. As a result of the settlement, Facebook believes that it will lose out on about of $103 million over a period of two years.

  • cozalp
    Omg people are getting rich using my private information or photos... oh wait i don't post them online.
  • kcorp2003
    i should have majored in law.
  • AznCracker
    So the law firms win again. They get millions for arguing and lying.
  • eddieroolz
    Might be a win for the lawyers and the people affected don't get anything, but it's been like this for a long time. Not like facebook's lawsuit started that trend.

    Either go sue facebook in a class-action suit or work to change facebook's privacy laws.
  • freggo
    We need a hunting season for Lawyers and Bankers.
    Dibbs on the Lawyers... :-)

    As for 970 million Facebook users... get real !
    Everyone I know has 2 or 3 accounts.
    As for myself, yes, I have 2; I do IT work and need them to test things. Would I put any of my private stuff on there ? Hell no. I prefer 3 'real' Friends over 1,000 meaningless facebook contacts.
  • officeguy
    Facebook laughs at 10 million.
  • Osmin
    There should be a policy than in a class action lawsuit and actions on behalf of alleged victims, the law firm is entitled to actual expenses plus a 10% bonus on the amount that victims actually receive and a max $100 per hour per lawyer limit for their actual dedicated time on the case. The rest of the settlement is dispersed to the victims after their approval of the settlement. Today, class action lawyers suck half of enormous settlements while many victims get less than a penny per dollar won (Due to the large number of victims represented).
  • amuffin
    10 million is chump change to Facebook.
  • Star72
    I'm really not sure that most facebook users care honestly. I could be wrong but it just seems like many are primarily concerned with sharing their day-to-day stuff & reading the same of others.
  • elbert
    Now we need a law suit to get the money out of the hands of the law firm. These lawyers without a clients may as well been co conspiring with the judge in judicial activism. Were do they have the right to sue without a client?