An anonymous reader writes "In the Stanford Law Review Online, authors Frankel, Brookover & Satterfield discuss an ongoing lawsuit against Facebook where plaintiffs claimed the social network's 'Sponsored Stories,' displaying advertisements on Facebook including 'the names and pictures of users who have "Liked" a product,' violated the law. Facebook responded by asserting that '(1) Plaintiffs are "public figures" to their friends, and (2) "expressions of consumer opinion" are generally newsworthy.' The authors discuss the substantial impact this case might have on online privacy going forward: 'The implications are significant and potentially far-reaching. The notion that every person is famous to his or her "friends" would effectively convert recognizable figures within any community or sphere, however small, into individuals whose lives may be fair game for the ever-expanding (social) media. If courts are willing to find that nontraditional subjects (such as Facebook users) are public figures in novel contexts (such as social media websites), First Amendment and newsworthiness protections likely will become more vigorous as individual privacy rights weaken. Warren and Brandeis's model of privacy rights, intended to prevent media attention to all but the most public figures, will have little application to all but the most private individuals.'"
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