NEW YORK, May 4 (Reuters) - The father of a Brooklyn teenager has accused Facebook of using children's names and likenesses in ads without getting permission from their parents or guardians.
Scott Nastro filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court on behalf of his child and all minors whose names or photographs have been used without parental consent since the social networking company introduced "social ads" in 2007, according to the complaint.
"Facebook, Inc. has regularly and repeatedly used the names and/or likenesses of plaintiff and the members of the Class for the commercial purpose of marketing, advertising, selling and soliciting the purchase of goods and services," the lawsuit said.
According to the complaint, clicking the "like" button on an advertiser's Facebook page allows a user's name and photo to be seen by the user's Facebook friends who visit the advertiser's page. When a user "likes" a particular company or product, this also appears in friends' news feeds.
While users can restrict the information from appearing on news feeds, Facebook's settings do not allow them to prevent their names and pictures from appearing on advertising pages they have "liked," the lawsuit said.
Nastro is seeking a portion of Facebook's revenues under the New York Civil Rights Law, which prohibits companies from using a person's name or photograph for advertising purposes without consent.
"We believe this suit is completely without merit and we will fight it vigorously," a Facebook spokesman said in an e-mail.
In August, the parents of two California teens filed a similar lawsuit against Facebook in Los Angeles Superior Court. That case is pending.
The New York case is J.N. vs. Facebook, Inc., U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, No. 11-cv-2128.
For J.N.: Squitieri & Fearon and the Law Offices of Joseph R. Santoli.
For Facebook: Not immediately available.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax)