Douez v. FacebookInc., 2014 BCSC 953 (Can. BC).

In 2011, Facebook launched Sponsored Stories, a product that used names and images of Facebook users to display advertisements to users’ contacts. Deborah Douez filed a class action suit on behalf of all British Columbia Facebook users alleging that Facebook’s Sponsored Stories violated the British Columbia Privacy Act by using their names or likenesses without consent.

On May 30, the Supreme Court of British Columbia (a superior trial court) held that it would not enforce the California forum selection and choice of law clauses in Facebook’s Terms of Use. The court explained that the legislature gave the court exclusive jurisdiction over Privacy Act claims and that the application of either clause would deprive Douez of the ability to bring her claim. The court also noted that Facebook stated in its Terms of Use that it would “strive to respect local laws.” Rejecting Facebook’s forum non conveniens argument, the court held that it would exercise jurisdiction over the case and certified it as a class action.