Beacon, a Facebook Ads program that secretly shared user information with third-party websites without consent, became a Facebook PR nightmare when people found out about its privacy violations in late 2007. In the aftermath of the Beacon disaster, affected Facebook users now have to opt out of class action suit against the company. ITPro has the story:
The class action suit, filed in California, takes issue with Facebook’s advertising system Beacon, saying they weren’t given enough warning or – ironically – the chance to opt out. Facebook and advertisers such as Blockbuster and STA Travel were named in the suit.
Under the terms of the agreement, which were unveiled earlier this year, users won’t be winning any payout. Instead, Facebook has shut down Beacon and will set up a fund worth $9.5 million to sponsor online rights activities – and to pay the lawyers in the case their $41,500 in fees.
“This is not a settlement in which class members file claims to receive compensation,” the email noted. “Under the proposed settlement, Facebook will terminate the Beacon program. In addition, Facebook will provide $9.5 million to establish an independent non-profit foundation that will identify and fund projects and initiatives that promote the cause of online privacy, safety, and security.”
The settlement’s final approval is 26 February of next year, and anyone who used Beacon has the right to “opt out” of the settlement. To be excluded from the settlement, you must write to the address here by 1 February.
In conjunction with its settlement, Facebook is setting up an advisory board that will review safety procedures for kids and teens. The settlement announcement also came shortly after Facebook revamped its privacy controls for users, making it easier to designate who views your information.