Facebook Legal Notice Could Bring In Cash For Users: Read Fine Lines Before Scrapping

28 January 2013, 3:30 am EST By Prarthito Maity email: p.maity@mobilenapps.com Mobile & Apps

Facebook could bring in money even without users being aware of it.

The company, only recently, sent out a legal notice to users that could appear as a regular company notice and some users might trash it by tagging it boring or off-putting at first glance. However, before scrapping it altogether, it is important that users take a good look at it as it could bring in cash in return.

The legal notice is currently arriving to users via email and is apparently worth $10. The mails are a part of a class action lawsuit, and Facebook's settlement offer, and only started arriving after the granted preliminary approval for the settlement.

As far as the mail is concerned, it is for affected people who "may have been featured in a Sponsored Story on Facebook prior to December 3, 2012." More clearly, Sponsored Stories is a Facebook advertising feature that was revealed in early 2011. Since users are unable to leave the feature, some users and groups considered it to be a privacy violation.

The notice, per a PCWorld report, "is meant to notify some of its U.S. members that their names, profile pictures, photographs, likenesses, and identities were unlawfully used to advertise or sell products and services through Sponsored Stories without obtaining those members' consent. 'Sponsored Stories' is targeted advertising that uses information about your friends to sell stuff to you."

Now to settle a class action lawsuit (Angel Fraley vs. Facebook) that resulted from those accusations of unlawful use of its members' content, the social network is intending to pay $20 million into a fund. This fund will be used to pay members who appeared in the sponsored stories.

The mail's description of Sponsored Stories is as follows:

"Sponsored Stories are a form of advertising that typically contains posts which appeared on facebook.com about or from a Facebook user or entity that a business, organization, or individual has paid to promote so there is a better chance that the posts will be seen by the user or entity's chosen audience. Sponsored Stories may be displayed, for example, when a Facebook user interacts with the Facebook service (including sub-domains, international versions, widgets, plug-ins, platform applications or games, and mobile applications) in certain ways, such as by clicking on the Facebook "Like" button on a business's, organization's, or individual's Facebook page."

"Sponsored Stories typically include a display of a Facebook user's Facebook name (i.e., the name the user has associated with his or her Facebook account) and/or profile picture (if the user has uploaded one) with a statement describing the user's interaction with the Facebook service, such as 'John Smith likes UNICEF,' 'John Smith played Farmville,' or 'John Smith shared a link'."

The notice also points out that the amount (if any) paid to each claimant depends upon "the number of claims made and other factors detailed in the settlement." However, no one knows as of now as to how much each claimant will receive, "or whether any money will be paid directly to claimants."

This means that there's no guarantee that the user will get the money.

Moreover, although the $20 million settlement offer is in fact real, it does include an uncomforting step of entering the user's bank routing number and account number if the user wants to be paid by bank transfer, rather than a check.

Nonetheless, both the settlement and the settlement offer are real. Head here to know more about it.

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