After a class action lawsuit alleging privacy violations, Facebook has terminated its Beacon program. Additionally, the company has agreed to pay $US9.5 million into a non-profit fund set up to protect online privacy, safety and security.
The Beacon program, around which the lawsuit is centred, let affiliated third-party websites report users’ activities back to Facebook for publication on the social networking website. The program was launched in November 2007 and in August 2008, several plaintiffs filed the lawsuit, “alleging that Facebook and its affiliates did not give users adequate notice and choice about Beacon and the collection and use of users’ personal information,” says the settlement website.
The lawsuit’s defendants also included Blockbuster, Gamefly, Fandango, Hotwire, Overstock.com, STA Travel and Zappos.com.
Although Facebook denies any and all liability, it agreed to settle by removing Beacon and paying $US9.5 million into an interest-bearing account to create the non-profit foundation.