Facebook sued for children 'liking' products

May 05, 2011
The logo of social networking website Facebook is displayed on a computer screen in London. A father is suing the social network website for not getting permission from parents or guardians before letting members of the online social network know when children "Like" brands.

A father is suing Facebook for not getting permission from parents or guardians before letting members of the online social network know when children "Like" brands.

"We believe this suit is completely without merit and we will fight it vigorously," said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.

Lawyers representing Scott Nastro and his son in a US district court in New York want the case to include all Facebook in the state younger than 18 years old whose names or likenesses have been used in "Social Ads."

The civil suit filed on Tuesday accused California-based Facebook of misappropriating names or likenesses of Nastro's child and other minors to promote products or services as well as to expand its ranks of members.

"Facebook Inc. appears to be continually seeking new ways to use the names and likenesses of its members, including children, for its own marketing purposes," attorney Lee Squitieri said in court documents.

In late 2007, Facebook launched Social Ads that pair related online advertising with members' actions such as writing reviews for restaurants or indicating that they "Like" a brand.

The lawsuit argued that such links involving underage Facebook members constitute unauthorized endorsements.

The suit also took issue with Facebook for including minors in its "Friend Finder" service that recommends who members might want to connect with in the online community of more than 500 million people.

Squitieri called on the judge to ban Facebook from involving underage members with Social Ads or Friend Finder and was seeking as well as any money generated from ads involving minors at the social network.

The federal suit mirrors one filed in California state court last year accusing Facebook of wrongly using children's names or likenesses by sharing their "likes" at the social network with selected friends.

Explore further: Startups offer banking for smartphone users

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Social networking aggregator sues Facebook

Jul 10, 2009

(AP) -- In a counter-punch to the world's biggest online hangout, a small Web company called Power.com has sued Facebook, saying it doesn't follow its own policy of giving users control over their content.

Recommended for you

Startups offer banking for smartphone users

Aug 30, 2014

The latest banks are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Startups, such as Moven and Simple, offer banking that's designed specifically for smartphones, enabling users to track their spending on the go. Some things ...

'SwaziLeaks' looks to shake up jet-setting monarchy

Aug 29, 2014

As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepares to end a two-year forced stay at Ecuador's London embassy, he may take comfort in knowing he inspired resistance to secrecy in places as far away as Swaziland.

Ecuador heralds digital currency plans (Update)

Aug 29, 2014

Ecuador is planning to create what it calls the world's first digital currency issued by a central bank, which some analysts believe could be a first step toward abandoning the country's existing currency, ...

WEF unveils 'crowdsourcing' push on how to run the Web

Aug 28, 2014

The World Economic Forum unveiled a project on Thursday aimed at connecting governments, businesses, academia, technicians and civil society worldwide to brainstorm the best ways to govern the Internet.

User comments : 0