About the Foundation
The foundation’s purpose was to fund and sponsor programs designed to educate users, regulators and enterprises regarding critical issues relating to protection of identity and personal information online through user control, and the protection of users from online threats.
In 2007, a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court of the Northern District of California against Facebook on behalf of 3.6 million users of Facebook concerning its “Beacon” program. KamberLaw represented the plaintiffs in this action and Cooley LLP represented Facebook. This suit was settled in 2009 and was granted final approval by the Hon. Richard Seeborg in March 2010. As part of the settlement, the parties created the Foundation “the purpose of which shall be to fund projects and initiatives that promote the cause of online privacy, safety, and security.” The case settled for $9.5 million, with the Foundation receiving approximately $6.7 million after attorney’s fees, payments to plaintiffs, and administrative costs. There were four objectors to the settlement, two of whom appealed the approval to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and subsequently the Supreme Court. But ultimately, in November 2013, the appeals were rejected and the Foundation was funded. The Foundation distributed approximately $6.4 million in grants and spent approximately $300,000 in administrative costs. It closed its doors in 2019 once all of the money was spent.
Board of Directors
The unpaid board of directors set the grant-making strategy, approved grants, and oversaw the operations of the Foundation. The board members were selected by the plantiffs’ and defense counsels.
Chris Jay Hoofnagle, President
Erin Egan, Secretary
Larry Magid, Treasurer
In order to keep administrative costs low and to put as much money as possible into grants, various consultants managed the Foundation’s operations.
Shona Armstrong, Consulting Attorney
Jennie Brick, Bookkeeper
Christine Fry, Chief Program Officer
Samantha Graff, Strategic Advisor
Drew Kloss, Grants Manager
Michael Simmons, Accountant
Legal Advisory Board
The Foundation’s Articles of Incorporation provided for a legal advisory board that was available to offer non-binding legal advice on any matter, including compliance with the settlement agreement.
Scott A. Kamber