Facebook Is Sending Out $15 Checks Because It May Have Used Your Face Without Permission

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Some Facebook users are receiving $15 checks in the mail because the social media company used their names and faces in “Sponsored Story” ads without permission.

Facebook agreed to pay each user (of the roughly 1.8 billion) who had their personal profiles taken for marketing purposes after a class action lawsuit settlement, according to NBC News.

The case, called Fraley vs. Facebook, was filed in April 2011. The five plaintiffs argued Facebook inappropriately used personal photos and names for advertisements.

The legal complaint contends that California law prohibits companies from using people’s likenesses or names in ads, unless it receives explicit permission. The suit also references how Facebook did not acquire consent from the parents of social media users under the age of 18.

Facebook conceded and will pay a total of $20 million. All users who were eligible had to file to be part of the class action lawsuit by May 2, 2013, reports NBC News. It’s unclear just how many people will receive checks.

The tech conglomerate also agreed to “Revise its terms of service (known as the ‘Statement of Rights and Responsibilities’) relating to Sponsored Stories” in order for the procedure to not happen again, according to the class action settlement’s website.

This is not the first time Facebook’s advertising practices have been criticized. The Silicon Valley company is hiring a “third party” after its metrics for evaluating advertisements were deemed inaccurate on two separate occasions. (RELATED: Facebook Ends Advertising Option Targeting Race After Denying Any Wrongdoing)

Facebook is in an ongoing battle with Adblock Plus, a content filtering service, after the social media company found ways to circumvent the marketing obstructor.

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Eric Lieberman