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Shapiro & Appleton

Facebook: Violating Children’s Privacy and Exposing you to Legal Trouble

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Personal injury lawyers, be careful what you post to facebookHow many times have your friends logged onto facebook only to see that you have “notified” them and all of your other friends about how much you love Dove face wash or the newest level of Candy Crush Saga? Whether you know it or not facebook has been doing this to many of its users that “like” certain products.  Several parents have taken Facebook to court for creating these “sponsored stories” featuring their children’s faces and names without their consent which in many states is a violation of laws protecting children’s privacy.

Facebook has offered a settlement that will pay users up to $10 if they were previously featured in a "sponsored stories" ad. Facebook also will allow minors under 18 to opt out of appearing in all sponsored stories ads, and will give adult users a mechanism to control their appearance in future sponsored stories -- but only for two years, and on an advertiser-by-advertiser basis.

Most adults don’t even realize that facebook is featuring them in advertisements to their friends to hawk products.  I doubt that they would realize there is a new “mechanism” hidden in the bowels of facebook that they could change.  To prove the point do you know what “sponsored stories” have run recently about you?  If not, you can go to this link and find out if you yourself have been a victim.  Click here.

Having your face plastered over your “friends” pages may not be the biggest of your worries.  If you are a victim in a personal injury lawsuit lawyers and insurance companies will search your facebook page.  In one VA wrongful death case a trucking company was ordered to pay $10.6 Million dollars towards the wrongful death claim of a young woman who was killed by their cement truck. But the trucking company cried foul after facebook photos of the widower partying surfaced. The scary truth is that no matter what setting you have on your Facebook page, certain aspects are visible to the public, such as all the profile pictures that you have available on your Facebook page, the "about me" portion and some other limited portions unless you take action to restrict those particulars also.  You might want to take a look at the fine print on your privacy settings.

CT

Richard N. Shapiro
Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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