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Facebook to pay $20 million for sharing users’ details on ads

By Valerie Benguiat     Aug 27, 2013 in Internet
Facebook has been ordered to compensate more than 600,000 users for having shared their personal details in ads on the site without their consent. Each user will receive a $15 payout.
On Monday, a U.S. court ruled that Facebook should pay a $20 million settlement to approximately 614,000 users and to some privacy organizations which filed a lawsuit against the social network.
The court estimated that Facebook had made about $73 million in profit from using the details of their 150 million current members in the website's Sponsored Stories.
According to the BBC: (The users’) details had been used to promote products and services through the site's Sponsored Stories programme, without paying them or giving them the choice to opt-out.
A Sponsored Story takes information that the users have voluntarily disclosed to their Facebook contacts by “liking” a product or service, and displaying this information on tailored ads that appear on members' Facebook pages.
Regarding the ruling, The Independent reported that U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg admitted that the compensation to each aggravated user isn’t much, but said: The settlement as a whole provides fair, reasonable, and adequate relief to the class, in light of all the circumstances, including the low probability that a substantially better result would be obtained through continued litigation.
Now, Facebook is expected to change their "Statement of Rights" to give users more information and control over how their details are used.
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