I’ve previously written about Facebook’s ‘Sponsored Stories’ and the controversy surrounding it.  Very briefly, this was the Facebook product which turned Facebook users’ “Likes” about, for example,a place or a product, into Sponsored Stories’.   What were these?  Turns out they were ads using the Facebook user’s profile photo.  The ads then went to the feeds of the user’s Facebook friends.

A class action lawsuit was filed alleging that ‘Sponsored Stories’ violated Facebook users privacy rights since the ads were created without asking for permission (and allowing the user to say “no”) and without paying the Facebook  user whose “Likes” were being used.  A $20 million settlement was reached in August 2013.  As Drew Guarini wrote, the settlement works out to about 2 cents per Facebook user (www.huffingtonpost.com; “Facebook Finally Axes Controversial ‘Sponsored Stories’ Ads”; January 10th).

But the biggest news is what’s captured in the title of Mr.Guarini’s article.  Facebook just announced that it will no longer be using ‘Sponsored Stories’ starting on April 9th.  This change was detailed in Facebook’s January 9th blog posted for developers; there’s a link to the developer’s blog in Mr. Guarini’s article if you want to read the technical terms about the change.

This is good news for Facebook users.  But they should also keep alert to see whether their “Likes” start being used in other ways for which they didn’t give permission.