A judge has rejected Facebook's settlement of a class-action suit regarding an ad feature that publicizes users' "Likes" of products and services to their Facebook friends but doesn't pay the users for the endorsements or allow them to opt out.
U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco, who had expressed skepticism about the proposed "Sponsored Stories" settlement at the beginning of August, rejected it yesterday, saying he had "serious concerns," according to a report in Wired. And he specifically wondered how the amounts to be paid out by the social network had been determined.
Under the proposed deal, Facebook would have given its users more control over how their Likes were handled and would have allowed users under 18 to opt out of Sponsored Stories. The ad feature displays -- for a user's Facebook friends -- the user's name, picture, and a tagline asserting that the person likes a particular advertiser.
The proposed deal also required Facebook to pay $10 million to the plaintiff attorneys and $10 million to nonprofit groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation that specialize in protecting online privacy.
But Facebook had said the new user control over Sponsored Stories would wind up costing it nearly ... [Read more]