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Facebook to compensate users for Sponsored Stories privacy breach

Facebook will be compensating users whose details appeared in Sponsored Stories advertisements on the social media site.

Anyone whose personal details appeared in Sponsored Stories ads will be compensated by the social media giant, receiving $15 (£9.65) for the privacy breach.

However, despite over 150 million users being affected, only those who responded to an email from Facebook earlier this year will actually receive any compensation.  This means only around 614,000 Facebook users will be compensated in total.

Some of the $20 million (£12.9 million) settlement will also go to privacy organisations.

Facebook is also required to make adjustments to its “Statement of Rights” as part of the settlement, which will cost the social media site around $145 million in advertising revenue.

Those amendments mean that users will have more control over how their personal information is used by Facebook, and be given more information in the future.

The settlement is the result of a class action filed against Facebook by five users back in 2011. It was approved on Monday by an American court, and Facebook said it is “pleased” it was passed.

“We are pleased that the settlement has received final approval,” said a Facebook spokesperson.

Sponsored Stories ads included the picture and personal details of Facebook users in order to promote a variety of products and services. The users who filed the action said they were never given a choice to opt-out or given any money for the use of their credentials.

Richard Seeborg, the US District Judge, said the compensation for users was a pretty small financial fee, but maintained that it hadn’t been proved whether Facebook had “undisputedly violated the law” when using people’s personal details.

However, Facebook made around $73 million (£47 million) in profit from the ads, all of which featured user details to lure customers in.

Interesting, around 7,000 Facebook users refused the compensation from Facebook in this settlement, as they wish to take out their own legal action against the social media site in the future.

Next, read our budget iPhone 5C news roundup.

Via: BBC

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