Last week, CEI’s Center for Class Action Fairness’ (CCAF) Anna St. John objected to an unfair class action settlement in Campbell v. Facebook. This case was centered around the theory that Facebook illegally analyzed URLs that users sent over private messages.
CCAF has taken on some egregious settlements, but this one is especially ridiculous. Here are seven reasons why:
1. Most Facebook users are class action members. If you sent or received a private message on Facebook between 2011 and 2017, you’re in!
2. The settlement “acknowledges” that Facebook discontinued certain practices complained about in this suit in 2014, and mostly in 2012 before the suit was even filed, but Facebook is still analyzing URLs in messages!
3. Attorneys got themselves $3.9 million in fees…
4. …while class members got 22 words on Facebook’s “Help Center” page for one year. Those words? “We use tools to identify & store links shared in messages, including a count of the number of times links are shared.”
5. Even worse, those words basically say that Facebook is guilty of what the plaintiffs sued over, but Facebook is going to continue doing it!
6. Now after having their privacy allegedly violated and getting basically nothing in return, class members weren’t even notified! Rules require a reasonable notice, and considering the suit dealt with Facebook, it’s not hard to think of a reasonable way to give notice to class members. Facebook messenger maybe?
7. Instead of sending out a notification to class members, the court ordered the attorneys to post it on their websites. Class action members probably wouldn’t be able to find it unless they were checking the attorneys’ websites daily.
CCAF found out and objected to the Campbell v. Facebook privacy class action settlement to protect these and future class members from greedy attorneys and unfair settlements. Learn more about the case here.