Peter S. Vogel: Parents Appeal Facebook’s Use of Pictures of Teenagers

Peter S. Vogel: Parents Appeal Facebook’s Use of Pictures of Teenagers

By Peter S. Vogel

A brief was filed challenging a $20 million settlement that “authorizes Facebook to continue to use minors’ images for advertising without parental consent — in direct violation of the laws of seven states, including California, where Facebook is located.”  On February 13, 2014 on behalf of parents of teenagers, Public Citizen Litigation Group filed an appeal with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the class action settlement which was approved by a US District Court in August 2013.  In the brief the parents claim that Facebook is exploiting minors and the approved settlement permits:

…Facebook to flout laws designed to protect children from being co-opted into serving as unpaid endorsers in advertisements and from having a momentary online interaction as a teenager immortalized on the internet — potentially to the minor’s future personal embarrassment or professional detriment.

Computerworld reported the following comments from Facebook that “a dozen respected groups continue to support the settlement:”

The court-approved settlement provides substantial benefits to everyone on Facebook, including teens and their parents, and goes beyond what any other company has done to provide consumers visibility into and control over their information in advertising…

Apparently this 2011 class action case is not resolved, and depending on how the Court of Appeals rules maybe this case will be headed to the US Supreme Court.

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