Facebook User Says Privacy Deal Gives Class Nothing

Law360 covers the privacy case with a statement by Anna St. John of the Center for Class Action Fairness.

A Facebook user urged a California federal judge to reject a settlement in a suit over the collection of data from private messages, ripping the fact that plaintiffs attorneys would earn $3.9 million in fees while class members would get nothing.

In an objection filed Monday, class member Anna St. John, an attorney for a class action fairness group, said the deal unfairly enriches the attorneys involved and offers users only a scant, 22-word temporary change to one of Facebook’s help pages. The settlement, reached in March, would resolve claims Facebook took data from website links users shared in private messages and used it to generate recommendations on users’ feeds.

The class members also said Facebook shared the user data with third parties and used the shared website links to increase “like” counts on third-party pages.

“This is a grossly unfair settlement where plaintiffs’ attorneys put their own interest in fees ahead of their clients,” St. John said in a statement on the Center for Class Action Fairness’ website. “Class counsel also tried to hide that fact by telling class members about the settlement only via their law firms’ websites instead of using the obvious, efficient, and cost-effective method: Facebook.”

The settlement would require Facebook to post language on its U.S. website’s help section that indicates it “uses tools to identify and store links shared in messages, including a count of the number oftimes links are shared,” according to court documents.

Read the full article at Law360.