Bookmark and Share



» Access to Courts and Court Remedies

» Campaign Finance and Election Laws

» Constitutional Rights and Requirements

» Health, Safety, and Environment

» Open Government and Open Courts

» Representing Consumers

» Workers' Rights

Currently Featured Topics

Government Transparency
Consumer Justice
First Amendment
Health, Safety and the Environment


Read about our work helping lawyers
with cases in the Supreme Court.


  Public Citizen | Litigation Cases ***Search other cases***

McCall v. Facebook (Marek v. Lane)

Topic(s): Class Actions – Objections to Proposed Settlements
Docket: 13-136



Public Citizen objected to a proposed settlement in a class action against Facebook over its "Beacon" program, which posted users' private information on the Facebook website without warning or consent. Public Citizen argued that the settlement was unfair because it required class members to forfeit their privacy claims while providing no relief in return. The settlement provided that Facebook would shut down Beacon, which it had already shut down voluntarily before the case was filed, and create an unneeded privacy foundation over which Facebook would retain unwarranted influence. Public Citizen lost before the district court, appealed in the Ninth Circuit. On September 20, 2012, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit upheld the settlement, with a strong dissent from Judge Kleinfeld, who stated that the settlement deprived Facebook users of any remedy for Facebook’s breach of their privacy. We filed a petition for rehearing en banc, which was denied. Other objectors later filed a petition for certiorari seeking review by the U.S. Supreme Court, which was denied.

Copyright © 2017 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.


To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.