It’s a good thing Mark Zuckerberg makes a decent living, because class action lawsuits (and their respective settlements) can get pricey.
Two years ago, a federal judge approved a $20 million settlement for putting users — many of them underage children — in Facebook’s “Sponsored Stories” advertising program without their permission. Parents generally frown upon their kids being turned into stock photographs.
This year, that price could be higher; Zuckerberg might pay with the hoodie off his back.
Our sister blog Social Times reports, via this story by Reuters, that a class-action lawsuit has been filed and approved for the much ballyhooed (and since discontinued in 2013) Facebook credits. What were they? Think Bitcoin, Canadian money, and the $2 bill…only fake…and available for children to purchase.
This one’s going to hurt a little:
U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman in San Jose, California on Tuesday said a class of plaintiffs estimated in the hundreds of thousands may press their claim that Facebook should change how it handles online transactions by minors.
The judge also said the plaintiffs could not pursue refunds as a group under U.S. Supreme Court precedent, because any refunds would vary from case to case, but could still seek individual refunds.
The class includes reported “millions of Facebook users” who were either parents between 2008 and 2015 or minors themselves. The argument is that Facebook’s policies do not do enough to protect minors.
Of course, Facebook says the lawsuit is without merit.
“The court correctly found that it would be inappropriate to permit plaintiffs to seek refunds on behalf of the proposed class,” the company said in an emailed statement. “We believe the remaining claims about our policy are without merit and we will continue to defend ourselves vigorously.”
This thing goes to trial October 19. Maybe there will be a fan page up by then.