Federal Court Rules in Facebook Privacy Settlement
A federal appeals court in San Francisco today upheld a $9.5 million settlement of a privacy-invasion lawsuit that challenged Facebook Inc.'s now-defunct Beacon advertising program.
The program, begun in 2007, posted notices on users' Facebook profiles whenever they bought an item or conducted other transactions with any of 44 participating businesses, including Blockbuster Inc., Fandango Inc., Overstock.com Inc., and eBay Inc.
Customers were identified through cookies placed on their Facebook pages and on the businesses' websites. At first, Facebook posted Beacon notices automatically on profiles unless members opted out in a process that some said was difficult to use. Later, in the wake of consumer complaints, the Menlo Park-based social network changed to an opt-in system and then discontinued the program.