Meta offers Canadian Facebook users $51M to settle lawsuit in 4 provinces

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Meta is offering $51 million to settle a class-action lawsuit in four Canadian provinces over the use of some users’ images in Facebook advertising.

The legal action filed by a B.C. woman claimed her image and those of others were used without their knowledge in Facebook’s “sponsored stories” advertising program, which is no longer in operation.

MNP Ltd., the court-appointed administrator handling the proposed settlement, says in a statement the agreement needs to be approved by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in March, along with a process to determine class members’ share of the money.

The lawsuit was expanded outside of B.C. in 2019 to include residents of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Sponsored stories ran from January 2011 to May 2014, and if someone liked a product under the program, Facebook generated a news feed endorsement using their name and profile photo, but didn’t tell them their image was being used.

Lawyers estimate 4.3 million people who had their real name or photo used in a sponsored story could qualify as part of the Canadian settlement.

Anyone who wants object to the proposed settlement has until March 11.

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