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Why a Brazilian computer school is suing Facebook for $33 million

Facebook already killed Sponsored Stories, but they’re still haunting the social network.  


Kate Knibbs


Facebook’s Sponsored Stories, which used personal information from users in advertisements, have always been one of the social network’s most-maligned features. No one at the company admitted it, but the near-universal loathing for the app must’ve factored in to Facebook’s decision to kill Sponsored Stories. (As of next month, the company won’t make any new ones.) Also, the lawsuit spurred by the feature likely led to its demise. 

Sponsored Stories are on their way out, but anger about how the feature used personal information is very much in full force. The Brazilian Institute of Computer Law (IBDI) is suing Facebook for $33 million. IBDI alleges that the feature violates user privacy.

“Using the name and image of Facebook users for business purposes without any compensation to them or share in profits from the sale of advertising represents unfair business practice and misleading customer service,” IBDI attorney Sérgio Palomares told ZDNet.

IBDI is asking that Facebook deactivate the feature in addition to the compensation.

This is far from the first legal problem for Facebook stemming from Sponsored Stories. In 2012, Facebook paid $10 million to users after a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. regarding the legality of the invasive advertisements.

H/T ZDNet | Photo via Flickr/Brian Turner (CC BY 2.0) 


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