Facebook has been hit with a class-action lawsuit for failing to get parental permission before using minors in its social ads, according to Bloomberg.
These social ads, launched in 2007, can use the names and pictures of a user's Facebook friends to show that they "liked" an ad in the sidebar. These "liked" ads can appear on a Facebook page, or in friends' news feeds. The same mechanism is used when users RSVP for advertised events.
“Users can prevent their endorsements from being shared with their friends by limiting who can see their posts through their privacy settings,” according to the complaint. “There is, however, no mechanism in place by which a user can prevent their name and likeness from appearing on a Facebook page if they have ‘liked’ it.”
The lawsuit, filed in New York by Justin Nastro through his father Frank Nastro, seeks class-action status, for those minors that have had their "names or likenesses used on a Facebook feed or in an advertisement sold by Facebook Inc. without the consent of their parent or guardian."
"We believe this suit is completely without merit and we will fight it vigorously," a Facebook spokesperson told The Huffington Post.
New York Civil Rights Law prevents advertisers from using a person's picture without permission. The Nastros are looking for a cut of the revenue Facebook received through the unapproved use of minors' names and images in product endorsement.