Facebook Inc (FB) gets sued by Public Citizen due to privacy concerns

Posted Feb 13, 2014

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) settled a federal class action lawsuit last summer. The company was supposed to change their policies to clarify that anything users publicly post can be used to sell products and services. A group of parents that are represented by the advocacy organization Public Citizen is planning to argue to a federal appeals court that Facebook has not done enough.

This group is expected to file a legal brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The settlement allegedly violates the law in 7 states: California, Florida, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. The group argues that Facebook should receive explicit permission from parents before using personal information in advertising from teenagers.

“The default should be that a minor’s image should not be used for advertising unless the parent opts in. Putting the burden on the parent to opt the child out gets it exactly backward,” stated Scott Michelman, a lawyer at Public Citizen.

Facebook believes that the settlement is fair. “The court-approved settlement provides substantial benefits to everyone on Facebook, including teens and their parents, and goes beyond what any other company has done to provide consumers visibility into and control over their information in advertising,” stated Facebook spokeswoman Jodi Seth. “The same arguments on state law were raised and rejected by the court last year, and a dozen respected groups continue to support the settlement.”