LOS ANGELES (CN) – A class action claims Facebook misappropriates the names and likeness of children and uses them in ads without permission from their parents or grandparents. The class claims that children are unable to stop Facebook from using their names and photos on a Facebook page if they have “liked” it.
This constitutes an “endorsement,” and use of the kids’ names and photos in “Friend Finder” also constitutes commercial use without legal consent, according to the complaint in Superior Court.
The complaint states: “Since late 2007, Facebook Inc. has been selling advertisements in Facebook as its primary means of generating income. With complete access to the information provided in users’ profiles as well as the information generated through users’ networking activities, Facebook Inc. is uniquely able to offer advertisers the ability to direct their ads to very specific demographics. …
“[A]dvertisements are displayed on Facebook along with a ‘Like’ button or, in the case of events, the ability to RSVP through the ad itself. When a user When a user ‘Likes’ a Facebook page through an ad or responds to an even, the user’s action is recorded on the Facebook page or event page along with the user’s name and likeness. For instance, if plaintiff [Juliet] Meth were to ‘Like’ and advertisement by XYZ Inc., when her Facebook friends viewed XYZ Inc.’s Facebook page, they would see ‘1 Friend Likes’ that page, with Meth’s name and photo appearing in the margin.”
The class claims this violates Article 1 Section 1 of the California Constitution, on privacy; and section 3344 of the Civil Code, the right of publicity law.
They seek disgorgement of unjust profits, statutory damages, attorneys fees and an injunction. They are represented by Mark Tamblyn with Wexler Wallace of Sacramento.