This afternoon a number of Facebook users received notice of the pending class action law suit in which a $9.5 million independent fund was allocated for projects to promote the cause of online privacy. Facebook has been forced to send out a notification by court order to Beacon users that may have been effected by the service. Ironically, participation in the settlement is “opt-out” only, something that Facebook was criticized for under the Beacon program.
Users received the following email this evening:
Facebook is sending you this notice of a proposed class action settlement that may affect your legal rights as a Facebook member who may have used the Beacon program. This summary notice is being sent to you by Court Order so that you may understand your rights and remedies before the Court considers final approval of the proposed settlement on February 26, 2010.
This is not an advertisement or attorney solicitation.
This is not a settlement in which class members file claims to receive compensation. Under the proposed settlement, Facebook will terminate the Beacon program. In addition, Facebook will provide $9.5 million to establish an independent non-profit foundation that will identify and fund projects and initiatives that promote the cause of online privacy, safety, and security.
For full details on the settlement and further instructions on what to do to opt out of, object to, or otherwise comment upon the proposed settlement, please go to http://www.BeaconClassSettlement.com.
Please do not reply to this email.
So what do settlement participants receive? Nothing aside from knowledge of this settlement. All this money will be used for is to set up a fund and to pay for all the attorney fees. Additionally, $41,500 will be distributed among the 19 class action representatives. While Facebook has already publicly acknowledge this settlement it appears that users are officially being notified of it now.
According to people I’ve spoken to, opt-out settlements are standard for class actions. However it doesn’t take away from the irony!