Facebook pays for using your name in ads without permission

Facebook pays for using your name in ads without permission
Naughty Facebook, rap on the wrists

Users whose names and pictures were used in sponsored stories without giving their permission will get a $15 (about £10 / AU$17) payout from Facebook.

The amount has been approved by a US judge, and the bill will run to around $20 million (about £12.9m / AU$22m) in total for Facebook, which also has to cover court costs for the case.

But before you start plotting what you'll spend your new-found cash on, you'll only get it if you were one of the 614,000 Facebookers who submitted a claim when Facebook emailed users to explain the situation earlier this year.


A group of five Facebook users originally filed the action against the social network in 2011, arguing that they hadn't been given a way to opt out of having their names used in advertising on the site, nor received any financial compensation.

The claims related to sponsored stories that include the line "Kate Solomon likes [Random brand]" which show up in your friends' news feeds.

While Judge Richard Seeborg noted that no claimants were "harmed in any meaningful way" (hence the small payout), he conceded that Facebook has "undisputedly violated the law."

Facebook is also required to update its Statement of Rights to let users control how their details are used in the future.

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.