Patrice St-Arnaud got upset when Facebook changed its privacy settings to allow it to disclose users’ personal information to third parties. So upset that he instituted class proceedings on behalf of other users, alleging violation of privacy and misappropriation of personal information.

St-Arnaud’s application was dismissed: St-Arnaud v Facebook Inc., 2011 QCCS 1506 [Link available here]. By clicking on the ‘sign up’ icon on the Facebook site (which included a warning that doing so indicated that he had read and agreed to Facebook’s terms of use and privacy policy) St-Arnaud had also agreed that California law governed any disputes, which had to be adjudicated in the courts of Santa Clara county in that state. The clause was not an external clause under the Civil Code and had been brought to the attention of the user. A Facebook user isn’t, in any event, a ‘consumer’ (because no consideration is involved in joining the site), so the Civil Code’s protections with respect to consumer contracts didn’t apply. Even if the Québec court had jurisdiction, it was not the most convenient forum to hear the dispute.