Two Madison County mothers are plaintiffs in a lawsuit launched against social networking giant Facebook, which alleges that the names and pictures of their minor children are being used without their consent. Jennifer DeYong and Melissa Dawes say their children are being exploited for corporate gain.
The lawsuit, filed by St. Louis law firm Korein Tillery in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis, is seeking class action status and is similar to others that have been filed in different states.
Concerns about privacy and protecting personal information, especially of younger users, have been mounting as advertisers swarm to Facebook, which lets its 500 million plus members, including its teenage users endorse companies, products, and services simply by clicking on the ubiquitous “Like” button. The picture and user name of the Facebook member subsequently appears on the company’s Facebook page.
The lawsuit filed for the Madison Mom’s presents this question: should parents of teenage members be required to sign off on their “Likes” before they click the button? Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes doesn’t think so. “We believe this suit is completely without merit and we will fight it vigorously”, he said.