Child advocacy groups say Facebook deal does not compel it to change

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 February, 2014, 9:26pm
UPDATED : Friday, 14 February, 2014, 9:26pm

Children's advocacy groups lambasted Facebook as they launched a bid to axe a US$20 million deal to settle charges that the social network violated privacy by using "likes" as endorsements for ads.

US-based Public Citizen led organizations backing a legal brief urging a federal appeals court in San Francisco on Thursday to toss the deal inked last year.

The filing said the settlement failed to compel the social network to change its ways when it used profile images of teenage members in ads without the consent of parents or guardians.

The practice was specifically banned by laws in California and six other US states, according to Scott Michelman, a Public Citizen attorney.

"The capture and republication of teen postings by Facebook is a pernicious assault on their rights to decide where their messages should go," said Robert Fellmeth, the director of the Children's Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law. It is representing another challenger to the settlement.

A US judge in August approved the deal to make Facebook pay for using members "likes" as endorsements for ads.

The pot of money is to be divvied up among attorneys, internet privacy rights groups and Facebook users who filed claims.