Global Facebook Settlement

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The definition of privacy has changed in the face of social media. Your name, image and other personal information is open to the World Wide Web.

Now, one local viewer is reaping the benefits so to speak.

When Bryan Martin checked his mail box just two days ago, he was caught off card by a plain, white envelope.

“I got this check, and it looks like it’s a lawsuit for Facebook… So I went home with this check and did some researching,” Martin said.

What Bryan found from a Google search is a popular lawsuit, Fraley vs. Facebook, that was settled in California three years ago. The settlement checks total $15 and started going to Facebook users last week.

I sat down with attorney Scott Kyrouac to weigh in on the validity of the check.

“You might not have known that simply by liking it, you were giving permission, in essense to use the image,” Kyrouac said.

Kyrouac says in 2012 Facebook, apparently used some images from “likes” to endorse products. The company entered into a class action settlement for everyone who submitted a claim.

But this is where Bryan is confused,  he says he never filed a claim against the site.

“It’s like, here they’ve got my name and address which is correct and they send me something in the mail so I’m just trying to figure out, how they were able to get this information without me signing up for anything,” Martin said.

Another discredit in Bryan’s eyes is that the check was sent from a P.O. Box address in Ohio.

Kyrouac says the check is likely valid and there should be no harm in cashing it rather than depositing the money into an account.

But Bryan’s still a skeptic.

“I may wait a while and see, kind of be the last person to cash the check, you know up to that 90th day and see if anyone’s had any problems with it… That’s probably what I’ll do.”

Bryan did tell me today that around five years ago, when this lawsuit was just beginning, he remembers recieving a letter in the mail about the lawsuit asking him to provide his bank account information, so they could deposit the settlement money into his account. He obviously assumed it was a scam and decided to write it off.
 

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