B.C. woman suing Facebook for unauthorized use of her photos: What is her case?

A B.C. woman is suing Facebook for using her photo in an advertisement.

Vancouver resident Debbie Douez is trying to launch a class-action lawsuit  against the social media giant. In a recent similar case in the U.S. a judge approved a $20 million settlement against Facebook and this could set a precedent for Douez’s case.

However, critics say Douez doesn’t have a case.

“I think that she obviously doesn’t understand how Facebook works,” said Mark Busse on UNfiltered with Jill Krop. “Because she is behaving like she is a customer of theirs. She’s not, she’s a product of theirs.”

“I think the nefarious thing of course is that [Facebook] haven’t been very open about this. People discovered this was happening, it wasn’t announced ‘hey everybody we’re using your face’, but the thing is, we uploaded our identities and our photos to that and we signed an agreement.”
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Criminal defense lawyer, Paul Doroshenko, said it is different if Facebook uses someone’s profile photo without asking, versus someone’s photo they have put in a folder. “You click it, you like it, you’re using their service, but the service is basically content production, you’re producing content and you’re using, but you make that agreement,” he said.

There are currently about 3.5 million Facebook users in B.C.

Busse said the real issue everyone should be concerned about is that Facebook is a dangerous tool. “There are kids being abused and bullied and victimized online and Facebook’s taking no accountability for this,” he said.

“If you don’t like Facebook, then leave, don’t like stuff.”

Doroshenko said the suit against Facebook in the United States was about Facebook taking photographs and then re-using them in a different way. “Facebook was using people’s photographs out of their photo albums at some point to market Facebook,” he said.

But Douez does not have the same case. She is upset because she has liked a corporation or a company’s page on Facebook and then her photo is used to advertise to others that she likes that product or company.

“I don’t think it’s going to go very far, but I think there’s probably a lot of people who are optimistic to ‘ching ching ching’ cash in,” said Busse.

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Doroshenko said he thinks Douez’s case comes from a lawyer wanting to try and make some money.

What do you think? Does Douez have a case?

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