McCall v. Facebook (Marek v. Lane)
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.