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Monday, 01 July 2013 09:37

Facebook still in hotwater over child protection

Written by Nick Farrell

Will no-one think of the children?

Child rights advocates have told a court that a Facebook legal settlement did not go far enough to keep content created by minors out of the hands of advertisers.

Five plaintiffs filed a proposed class action against Facebook in 2011, saying the social networking giant's "Sponsored Stories" program shared user's "likes" of certain advertisers without paying them or allowing them to opt out. Facebook agreed to pay $20 million to compensate class members, and promised to give users more control over how their content is shared. Plaintiff lawyers estimate to be worth up to $145 million. Facebook charged advertisers nearly $234 million for Sponsored Stories between January 2011 and August 2012, court filings show.

US District Judge Richard Seeborg preliminarily approved the settlement last year, but he still must give it a final sign-off. But Children's Advocacy Institute attorney Robert Fellmeth told Seeborg that no minors should have their content shared with advertisers. The Judge said that he would think about it, but did point out that it was not his job to come up with the perfect child protection policy.

Nick Farrell

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