Facebook Settles Class Action Lawsuit Over Sponsored Stories

Social net to pay out $20 million

Facebook has finally settled a class action lawsuit over the way it shared "likes" of advertisers in sponsored stories without getting users' permission.

In an order filed yesterday in San Francisco's U.S. District Court for the northern district of California, Facebook will shell out $20 million to compensate members of the class action suit.

The lawsuit, filed by five Facebook users, raised additional questions about Facebook's advertising and privacy practices.

As part of the settlement, each of the 614,000 users that responded to the class action suit will get $15.00 (about 7,000 opted out). Facebook also promised to give users more control over how content is shared.

"Going forward, operation of the sponsored stories program will be more transparent and Facebook users will have a greater ability to see how and when their activities result in generation of Sponsored Stories, and to limit recurrences," wrote U.S. District judge Richard Seeborg in the order.

"We are pleased that the settlement has received final approval," said a Facebook spokesperson.