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Beacon settlement gets preliminary OK

A U.S. District Court gives preliminary approval to settle a class action suit against Facebook's controversial service.

A class action suit over Facebook's controversial Beacon program received preliminary approval Friday in U.S. District Court, allowing the company to clear the matter without long--and expensive--court proceedings.

The proposal (PDF), which was made public last month, calls for Facebook to discontinue Beacon and cough up $9.5 million to set up a nonprofit foundation to "fund projects and initiatives that promote the cause of online privacy, safety and security."

Beacon was launched in November 2007 to let users share information with their Facebook friends about the things they were doing on third-party, affiliated sites.

At issue was the way Facebook launched the service to automatically include everyone, instead of as an opt-in. Eventually, the service was switched to opt-in.

Read more of "Facebook settlement: Kill Beacon, pay $9.5 million into fund to promote online privacy" at ZDNet's Between the Lines.