U.S. judge gives initial OK to revised Facebook privacy settlement

Tue Dec 4, 2012 10:08am IST

Facebook logos on a computer screen are seen in this photo illustration taken in Lavigny May 16, 2012. REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud

Facebook logos on a computer screen are seen in this photo illustration taken in Lavigny May 16, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Valentin Flauraud

Related Topics

Stocks

   

REUTERS - A U.S. judge on Monday gave his preliminary approval to a second attempt by Facebook Inc to settle a class action lawsuit which charges the social networking company with violating privacy rights.

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in California rejected a settlement in August over Facebook's 'Sponsored Stories' advertising feature, questioning why it did not award money to Facebook members for using their personal information.

But in a ruling handed down Monday, Seeborg said a revised settlement "falls within the range of possible approval as fair, reasonable and adequate."

In a revised proposal, Facebook and plaintiff lawyers said users now could claim a cash payment of up to $10 each to be paid from a $20 million total settlement fund. Any money remaining would then go to charity.

The company also said it would engineer a new tool to enable users to view content that might have been displayed in Sponsored Stories and opt out if they desire, a court document said.

If it receives final approval, the proposed settlement would resolve a 2011 lawsuit originally filed by five Facebook Inc members.

The lawsuit alleged the Sponsored Stories feature violated California law by publicizing users' "likes" of certain advertisers without paying them or giving them a way to opt out. The case involved over 100 million potential class members.

A spokesman for Facebook said the company was "pleased that the court has granted preliminary approval of the proposed settlement." Lawyers for the plaintiffs weren't immediately available for comment Monday evening.

Outside groups and class members will have a chance to object to the latest settlement before Seeborg decides whether to grant final approval. A hearing on the fairness of the deal has been set for June 28, 2013. The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Angel Fraley et al., individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated vs. Facebook Inc, 11-cv-1726.

(Reporting by Jessica Dye; Editing by Michael Perry)

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

India Crush UAE

India Crush UAE

India cruise to easy win over UAE in Perth.  Read 

Budget 2015

Budget 2015

Full coverage of 2015/16 budget.  Full Coverage 

Sahara Saga

Sahara Saga

Some staff say Sahara has not paid salaries for months   Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Dum Laga Ke Haisha" is rooted in reality, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar.  Full Article | Related Story 

Nimoy Dies

Nimoy Dies

Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek's 'Mr. Spock,' dies at 83.  Full Article 

Gown Returned

Gown Returned

Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscar gown returned by thief via TMZ.  Full Article 

World Cup 2015

World Cup 2015

Full coverage of cricket world cup in Australia and New Zealand.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage