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Facebook is agreeing to give its users the right to “limit” how the social-networking site uses their faces in ads, as a part of a way to settle a privacy lawsuit brought against the company.
Sponsored stories work like this: If a Facebook user ‘likes’ an advertiser, that user’s profile and picture may appear on their friends’ Facebook pages — in ads — stating that the person, indeed, ‘likes’ that advertiser. Facebook also reserves the right to do this on ads that appear on sites other than Facebook.
As part of the deal, the social-networking site will have to disclose to Facebook users in its new terms of service, which nobody reads, that it can use its 850 million users as public spokespersons for some company for just having “Liked” a company in order to watch a movie or get a discount.
While the 45-page settlement agreement is nebulous at best when it comes to how much a Facebook user would be able to stop appearing on Sponsored Stories, the deal makes clear that plaintiff’s lawyers are entitled to up to $10 million in fees, and that Facebook will donate $10 million to charity. Facebook users receive no compensation under the deal.