The prestigious MacArthur Foundation has asked to be removed from a controversial consumer privacy settlement. The foundation noted that it was not an appropriate cy pres recipient and asked that the funds be "redirected to other non-profit organizations engaged in the underlying issues." Consumer privacy organizations, including EPIC, have opposed the Fraley settlement stating that it violates a 2011 consent order with the Federal Trade Commission and that the cy pres allocations proposed do not reflect the interests of the class or the purpose of the litigation. A recent survey by Gigaom found that many of the named organizations are funded by Facebook and have no plans to assist class members. Public Citizen has appealed the settlement to the Ninth Circuit. The Federal Trade Commission has opened an investigation and Facebook has suspended implementation of the proposed privacy changes that would result from the settlement. For more information, see EPIC: Fraley v. Facebook.
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Communications Law and Policy
Jerry Kang and Alan Butler