(credit: Marco Paköeningrat/Flickr)

On Wednesday, a federal appeals court in San Francisco upheld a 2013 settlement between Facebook and a number of advocacy groups representing minors whose images were used in “Sponsored Stories.” That agreement resulted in Facebook paying each member of the class $15 and imposed some changes to the social media giant’s disclosure policies.
“It is not clear whether Facebook’s use of minors’ names and likenesses in Sponsored Stories violated California law,” the court wrote. “It is also not clear whether the settlement at issue—which provides more protection for minors from Facebook’s advertising practices than existed before—violates state law. The district court did not abuse its discretion in approving the settlement in the face of this uncertainty.”
The original case, known as Fraley v. Facebook, was brought against Facebook in 2011, citing violations of both federal and California state law. The case alleged that when Facebook took a “like” of a user under the age of 18 and then used that data, name, and image in a Sponsored Story without the parents’ permission, the company was doing so illegally.
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