A California federal judge has dismissed a class action lawsuit filed against Facebook over its Friend Finder feature. Facebook user Robyn Cohen and others alleged that Facebook misappropriated users' names and profile pictures, and that the company thus owed them money.
The case was actually first dismissed on June 28, 2011. The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, however, which was dismissed on July 27, 2011, according to paidContent.
Facebook's Friend Finder is typically advertised with a headline along the lines of "Emil - try the automatic Friend Finder" followed by a description like "Friend1, Friend2, and Friend3 found many of their friends using the automatic Friend Finder. Give it a try =>." The lawsuit argued that Facebook was using the names and profile pictures of Friend1, Friend2, and Friend3 without permission.
The feature suggests new Facebook friends to you based on the e-mail contacts you upload to the website. If you use it, your name and profile picture could then in turn be used to promote the service to your friends.
The plaintiffs argued that the use of their name and profile pictures to promote Friend Finder amounted to an unauthorized endorsement. The judge disagreed, saying that the Friend Finder ads did not cause any economic loss to Facebook users, noting that their pictures were only displayed to their existing Facebook friends.
"We appreciate the Court's consideration, and we are pleased that all claims were dismissed with prejudice," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. For more details, check out the six-page court document embedded above.
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