High court clears way for Facebook lawsuit in B.C.

Deborah Douez alleges Facebook used her name and profile photo in ads endorsing a company she ‘liked’

The Supreme Court of Canada says a woman who wants to sue Facebook over its use of “sponsored stories” can pursue her case in British Columbia.

Deborah Douez wants to file a class-action lawsuit against the social media giant over a now-defunct advertising format, which allegedly used her name and profile photo in ads endorsing a company for which she had clicked the “Like” button.

The ads were generated for companies that purchased the sponsored stories format and were sometimes displayed on the newsfeeds of her friends.

RELATED: B.C. man charged after gun and bomb threats allegedly made to Facebook staff

A lower court approved her suit, but the British Columbia Court of Appeal stayed the case, saying it should properly be pursued in California, where Facebook is based.

The appeal court said all potential users of Facebook must agree to its terms of use, which include a forum selection and choice-of-law clause requiring that disputes be resolved in California according to California law

In a 4-3 decision today, the Supreme Court calls the clause unenforceable.

The Canadian Press

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