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E.K.D. v Facebook Complaint

E.K.D. v Facebook Complaint

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Published by Eric Goldman
Another lawsuit over kids being used in Facebook's Sponsored Stories
Another lawsuit over kids being used in Facebook's Sponsored Stories

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Published by: Eric Goldman on Jun 03, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/03/2011

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1
IN
 
THE
 
UNITED
 
STATES
 
DISTRICT
 
COURTFOR
 
THE
 
SOUTHERN
 
DISTRICT
 
OF
 
ILLINOISE.K.D. , by her next friend Melissa K.Dawes, and C.M.D., by his next friendJennifer E. DeYong, individually and onbehalf of all others similarly situated,Plaintiffs,vs.FACEBOOK, INC.,Defendant. )))))))))))))) Cause No: 3:11-cv-00461-GPM-SCWCLASS ACTION ORIGINAL COMPLAINT
COME NOW Plaintiffs, individually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated
,
byand through their undersigned counsel, on information and belief, and for their Complaintagainst Defendant FACEBOOK, INC. state as follows:
 
1.
 
Defendant has and continues to knowingly use the names and photographs of children to advertise products and services, without their consent, in violation of state law. Thissuit seeks to recover statutory damages as provided by law.
PARTIES, JURISDICTION AND VENUE
2.
 
E.K.D. is the minor child of Melissa K. Dawes both of whom are natural personsand citizens and residents of the Southern District of Illinois.3.
 
C.M.D. is the minor child of Jennifer E. DeYong both of whom are naturalpersons and citizens and residents of the Southern District of Illinois.
Case 3:11-cv-00461-GPM -SCW Document 2 Filed 06/01/11 Page 1 of 12
 
24.
 
All references to “Plaintiff(s)” throughout this Complaint are made on behalf othe named Plaintiffs and the proposed plaintiff class(es), and vice versa.5.
 
The amount in controversy in this action, as defined by 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(6),exceeds $5,000,000 exclusive of costs and interest.6.
 
Defendant is a citizen of California and Delaware as defined by 28 U.S.C. §1332(c) as it is a Delaware company with its principal place of business in California.7.
 
Defendant operates an interactive website, facebook.com, from datacenterslocated throughout the Country.8.
 
Defendant is a resident of the Southern District of Illinois as it is has ongoing andsystematic contacts with residents of the Southern District of Illinois. Defendant has, at allmaterial times, conducted business including the operation of interactive websites with and thesale of advertising to residents of the Southern District of Illinois. Moreover, Defendant hasspecifically targeted the residents of Illinois as users and advertisers such that sufficientminimum contacts exist with the State of Illinois that the assumption of jurisdiction will notoffend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.9.
 
When reference in this Complaint is made to any act or omission of Defendant, itshould be deemed to mean that the officers, directors, agents, employees, or representatives of Defendant committed or authorized such act or omission, or failed to adequately supervise orproperly control or direct their employees while engaged in the management, direction,operation, or control of the affairs of Defendant, and did so while acting within the scope of theiremployment or agency.
Case 3:11-cv-00461-GPM -SCW Document 2 Filed 06/01/11 Page 2 of 12
 
3
STATEMENT OF FACTS
 10.
 
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. Registration with facebook requires theproviding of a name, gender, date of birth and a valid email.11.
 
Registered Users are asked to also provide the name of their high school, college,and employer to create a User profile. Users can expand their profile by adding informationabout various interests and hobbies. They can also add contact information including address,website, email and phone numbers. Users may add other users as “friends” and exchangemessages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile.12.
 
Sources estimate that as of April 2010 41.6% of the U.S. population has afacebook account. Although originally only open to students at certain universities, facebook opened itself to high-school-aged users in September 2005 and on September 26, 2006, toeveryone 13 and older with a valid email address. Sources estimate more than 14 million U.S.residents under the age of 18 are facebook users.13.
 
Facebook distinguishes itself from other social media sites by requiring that usersutilize their true identity, a demand that MySpace does not make. For example, facebook publicly states:Facebook has always been based on a real name culture. This leadsto greater accountability and a safer and more trusted environmentfor our users. It’s a violation of our policies to use a fake name oroperate under a false identity, and we encourage people to reportanyone they think is doing this, either through the report links weprovide on the site or through the contact forms in our HelpCenter. We have a dedicated User Operations team that reviewsthese reports and takes action as necessary. We will considerremoving a profile if we determine that it is not authentic and falseinformation is being communicated on it. We also have technicalsystems in place to flag and block potential fakes based on nameand anomalous site activity.
Case 3:11-cv-00461-GPM -SCW Document 2 Filed 06/01/11 Page 3 of 12

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