1. How did you get my email?
You received a Court-approved Notice because this lawsuit against Facebook has been certified by the Court as a Class Action. Once a class action is certified, the plaintiff must notify people that may be class members so they know about the certification and their options. To ensure all potential class members are notified, the Court ordered Facebook to disclose to a third party administrator the names and emails of people Facebook believes it may have placed in a Sponsored Story. This explains why and how you received the Notice. Lawyers for the plaintiff do not have these email addresses. The third party administrator received this information pursuant to a Court order on conditions of privacy. They are only allowed to use the information for purposes of sending the Court-approved Notice.
2. How do I tell if my information was used in a Sponsored Story?
At this stage, we do not know who Facebook used in a Sponsored Story. Unless alerted by other persons, class members may also not know if they were featured in a Sponsored Story. The plaintiff alleges Sponsored Stories were broadcast to friends but not to the displayed person. You received the Class Action Notice because Facebook’s data indicates your profile may have been used. This information should become available as the litigation progresses. However, if you would like to determine whether your name or portrait were featured in a Sponsored Story you may contact Facebook directly and ask them. To the extent you do so, we suggest you keep the information provided until resolution of this action.
3. How do I tell if I am a class member?
You are a class member if at any time between January 1, 2011 to May 30, 2014 you were a resident of either British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Newfoundland and Labrador, if you used your real name and/or portrait on your Facebook profile; and if Facebook then used your name, portrait or both in a Sponsored Story.
At this time you have been notified as a potential class member. As noted at #2 above, we do not know the identity of people in fact featured in a Sponsored Story. For now, we simply know that Facebook identified you as a potential class member.
4. Do class members have to pay anything?
No. Class members will not incur any expenses in connection with this Class Action. This action is brought on a contingency basis. This means that if we are successful in obtaining compensation on behalf of the Class, our fees will be approved by the Court as a percentage of the overall compensation amount. We will be paid from amounts recovered from Facebook for the Class as a whole, if any. If the plaintiff is unsuccessful then there are no cost consequences for class members.
5. If we win, how much money will Facebook have to pay?
It is difficult to predict damages in a large scale case of this kind. Compensation may be awarded by the judge at the end of trial. Alternatively a settlement may be negotiated on behalf of the Class and then approved by the Court. Any settlement must be approved by the Court. Class members will receive separate Notice if and when the parties seek settlement approval. We cannot give an estimate at this stage.
6. What do I need to do to be involved?
You do not need to do anything at this stage to participate in this Class Action. If you are a class member you are automatically included. However, we encourage class members to register with us so that we can provide direct notification as the proceedings progress.
Please visit our webpage and provide your name, contact information (including email) and any information you have about the use of your name or portrait in connection with a Sponsored Story.
7. What happens if I don’t opt-out?
If you do not opt-out then as a class member you will be bound by the outcome of the class Action. This means the results of the lawsuit will apply to you. If we succeed, you may be entitled to a portion of any compensation obtained on behalf of the Class. This also means that you would be precluded from bringing your own individual lawsuit against Facebook concerning the same issues dealt with in this Class Action.
If you wish to preserve your own right to sue Facebook on your own and at your own cost, and not as part of this Class Action, you should opt-out of this Class Action. If you wish to discuss this issue with a lawyer, feel free to contact Avichay Sharon (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Setareh Khasha (email@example.com). We will review your options with you at no cost to you.
8. The Notice refers to “good or bad” results of the lawsuit, what does this mean?
This means the outcome of the action will apply to class members whether the outcome is successful and the Court orders an award of damages to the Class, or whether the Court dismisses the case. As above, there are no cost consequences to class members either way.
9. Why can’t I opt-out by email or facsimile?
The Notice of Class Action was approved by the Supreme Court of British Columbia, including the information provided in the Notice on the process for opting out. As such, requests to opt-out of this Class Action cannot be accepted by email or facsimile. They must be delivered in writing to:
Branch MacMaster LLP, attn.: Sarah Cleary
1410-777 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1S4
10. I was not a resident of one of the eligible provinces at the time, does this class action apply to me?
This Class Action involves people resident of British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Newfoundland and Labrador at any time during January 1, 2011 to May 30, 2014. If you do not fit this definition you may not qualify as a class member. If you do not qualify as a class member you do not need to opt out of the Class Action.