(CN) – Facebook sells the names and likenesses of children who use its social networking site, and makes no effort to get parental consent, a class action claims in Los Angeles Superior court.
“Facebook encourages the participation of children on its social networking website, stressing the authenticity of the experience of communicating with friends,” according to the lawsuit filed on behalf of two minors from Los Angeles County. “It then markets the names and likenesses of those children for use by advertisers.”
Facebook then tells advertisers that the use of the child’s name as an “endorsement” of the advertiser’s product “can increase marketing returns by 400 percent,” according to the complaint.
In violation of California law, a child’s name and likeness cannot be used for commercial purposes without parental consent. Plaintiffs claim Facebook makes “no effort to obtain parental consent.”
Plaintiffs are David A. Cohen and his mother, Robin S. Cohen; and Shelby Orland and her mother, Marcia Orland.
They want the alleged misconduct stopped, and seek unspecified damages for violations of state law, unfair competition and other charges.
The lawsuit was filed by John Torjesen.