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Facebook redoes privacy settlement, offers cash to users

Facebook is taking another shot at a "Sponsored Stories" settlement, agreeing to pay affected consumers and provide a simpler way to review all Sponsored Stories interactions.

The social-networking giant first tried to settle the case several months ago, but a judge rejected the settlement in August, saying he had "serious concerns" with the pact. In particular, the judge wondered how the parties determined the $20 million settlement amount to be paid out by the social network. The amount included $10 million in legal fees for the plaintiff attorneys.

Under the new agreement, filed Friday, Facebook has … Read more

Pay $7 to promote your Facebook status?

Thursday's CNET Update never forgets a face:

Today's tech news roundup begins with a look at Facebook. The network is testing a feature that lets you pay to get your posts seen by more friends. Facebook first began testing this concept in May and it's already in 20 other countries. But it's rolling out to some U.S. users now, and the idea is to pay to show off big news or get more attention to an event. Facebook hasn't set an official price for this, but CNET staffers with the feature are asked to … Read more

Toys 'R' Us takes on tablets with Tabeo

This Monday tech news roundup doesn't want to grow up:

Toys "R" Us has created it's own tablet designed for kids, called Tabeo. It goes on sale in stores Oct. 21 for $150, but the store is now taking preorders online. This kid-safe tablet comes with 50 apps pre-installed for games, education, reading -- even apps for cooking and editing photos. And there's 7,000 more apps available in an app store. It comes with 4GB of memory, but is expandable with a memory card slot. And Toys 'R' Us won't be sharing this … Read more

The 404 1,121: Where we rock out with the pop out (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- The POTUS did an AMA on Reddit yesterday, and here are the Web site's stats.

- Metal Gear Solid movie heads into production, will be produced by Avi Arad.

- Google begins reminding users of friends' birthdays.… Read more

Judge rejects Facebook's 'Sponsored Stories' settlement

A judge has rejected Facebook's settlement of a class-action suit regarding an ad feature that publicizes users' "Likes" of products and services to their Facebook friends but doesn't pay the users for the endorsements or allow them to opt out.

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco, who had expressed skepticism about the proposed "Sponsored Stories" settlement at the beginning of August, rejected it yesterday, saying he had "serious concerns," according to a report in Wired. And he specifically wondered how the amounts to be paid out by the social … Read more

Judge casts doubt on Facebook 'Sponsored Stories' privacy deal

A U.S. District Court judge has some concerns about the settlement Facebook struck over privacy concerns with its "Sponsored Stories" feature.

Judge Richard Seeborg yesterday heard the details of a settlement Facebook had inked with plaintiffs in a suit related to the way in which the social network was displayed Sponsored Stories. The five plaintiffs, which aimed at representing over 100 million members in a class-action suit, argued that by displaying their likeness and pages they had liked in a Sponsored Stories listing across the site, Facebook was violating their privacy. However, back in May, the parties agreed to a $20 million dealRead more

Twitter offers location targeted advertisements

Twitter introduced targeted promoted tweets today, which means advertisers can send tailored messages based on where users live and what devices they're on.

"What if you want to make an offer just to New York Twitter users? Until today, it's been impractical to send these kinds of highly tailored Tweets, since there was no way to reach people in New York without also reaching followers in Norway, Nebraska and Nigeria who can't take advantage of your offer," Kevin Weil, a Twitter product manager, wrote in a blog post.

This advertising tool is meant to appeal … Read more

Judge in Facebook 'sponsored stories' lawsuit recuses herself

The federal judge presiding over Facebook's "sponsored stories" lawsuit has abruptly quit the case a day before a scheduled hearing to discuss a proposed settlement.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh filed papers today to recuse herself from the lawsuit, which claimed the social-networking giant violated California law and plaintiffs' right to privacy by publicizing their "likes" in advertisements without asking them, compensating them, or allowing them to opt out.

Koh's one-page court filing (see below) said the case would be referred to another U.S. District Court judge by the assignment committee. The … Read more

Facebook ads make their way to Zynga's site

Zynga users may have noticed something unfamiliar on the Web site -- Facebook ads have crept over to the gaming platform's site, filling the space that used to house Google ads.

The change was first noticed by Inside Facebook and it has the media speculating up a storm about whether this is the beginning of Facebook's advertising service empire.

Now when you connect with Facebook on Zynga.com, you'll see personalized ads and sponsored stories just like they appear in Facebook, the social network says. According to Facebook, you'll see only sponsored stores about activity that'… Read more

Facebook to give users more control over controversial ads

If a judge approves Facebook's settlement of a class-action lawsuit regarding "sponsored stories," the social network will give users more control over the advertising tool, which features users' profile photos and other information in ads for businesses and products the users have "Liked."

Reuters reported today that the settlement agreement includes giving users the ability to determine what, if any, user information can be featured in ads, and adding new language to Facebook's guidelines informing users of sponsored ads, according to court documents filed Wednesday. TechCrunch reported that user opt-outs will apparently apply on … Read more