Using Your Likeness…

Facebook using your likeness
Facebook using your likeness (image by Global X)

Have you seen this latest legal case… Two Los Angeles-area parents are suing Facebook over the Like button that appears in the social site’s ads.

A prepared statement by the plaintiff’s attorney John Torjesen read: “When a teenager sees that their Facebook friends ‘Like’ an ad, it piques their curiosity, making them more likely to click the ad or visit the page. We believe it is a clear case of exploitation of children for the sake of profits.”

Co-counsel in the lawsuit Antony Stuart added: “The consent of the minor for this commercial use of his or her name and likeness is not obtained by Facebook. Under California law, the minor’s consent cannot be obtained without the consent of the parent or guardian. Facebook makes no effort to obtain parental consent.”

Some quick thoughts that come to mind…

On the face of it I guess this lawsuit has some merit. We do go through pains to protect children and children really can’t enter into legal binding agreements.

What About Your Likeness

I guess I haven’t thought deeply about this but when Facebook suggests to  your friends and contacts that you ‘like’ (or Fan) something they are inherently taking your likeness. They also have permission to use your likeness throughout the site and ads. While this isn’t what you might call a huge privacy issue it is another interesting take on what this connected world has brought us.

Take it a Step Further

Imagine that 10 years from now your at the mall. You walk into a store and suddenly the display above (in 3D) lights up and tells you that 3 of your friends like the Gap. In fact, 2 of them checked in here the last week. You walk around the store and you are notified of the reviews of products and the product that your friends like. That is just the beginning.

If you’ve done any back to school shopping I’m sure you’ve seen the technology kiosks, the try an outfit cameras, the capture your friends poses and picture displays. Digital media is slowly making the inroads into the storefront. Is it right that companies or brands can use your likeness to sell their wares?