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Meta is offering to settle a class-action lawsuit over the use of some images in Facebook advertising for $51 million. The Meta logo is seen at the Vivatech show in Paris, France on June 14, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Thibault CamusThibault Camus/The Associated Press

Meta is offering $51-million to settle a class-action lawsuit in four Canadian provinces over the use of some users’ images in Facebook advertising.

The legal action filed by a B.C. woman claimed her image and those of others were used without their knowledge in Facebook’s “sponsored stories” advertising program, which is no longer in operation.

MNP Ltd., the court-appointed administrator handling the proposed settlement, says in a statement the agreement needs to be approved by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in March, along with a process to determine class members’ share of the money.

The lawsuit was expanded outside of B.C. in 2019 to include residents of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Sponsored stories ran from January, 2011, to May, 2014. If someone liked a product under the program, Facebook generated a news feed endorsement using their name and profile photo, but didn’t tell them their image was being used.

“The proposed settlement provides that Facebook will pay the all-inclusive sum of $51 million in exchange for a full and final release by the class of all claims in issue in the class-action against Facebook,” the statement issued Thursday by MNP said.

Lawyers estimate 4.3 million people who had their real name or photo used in a sponsored story could qualify as part of the Canadian settlement.

Anyone who wants to object to the proposed settlement has until March 11.

The MNP statement said class members don’t need to do anything yet to get compensation.

“After settlement is approved, a process will be announced setting out the procedure and manner for class members to submit their claims for a share of the settlement funds.”

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