Samsung has been sued by 18 Olympic athletes over a Facebook app called “Samsung Olympic Genome Project”. The app allows users to play a “six degrees of separation” game using FB profile data and a database of 3,000 athletes while displaying ads for Samsung’s Galaxy products. Bloomberg reports:
Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) was sued by a group of 18 Olympic athletes who claim the “Samsung Olympic Genome Project” application for Facebook uses their names and images without their permission… The athletes, including swimmer Mark Spitz, diver Greg Louganis, and track and field star Jackie Joyner-Kersee, said in a complaint filed yesterday in state court in Los Angeles that Samsung uses their names and images to create the impression that they endorse its products.
Samsung’s statement (via HollywoodReporter):
“Samsung is disappointed by the lawsuit filed around the US Olympic Genome project. The Genome Project is a unique program that benefits Team USA by connecting fans and US Olympians. We have collaborated closely on this program with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) over the past year and followed USOC procedures in communicating with the athletes. Athletes have had the opportunity to voice their opinions on the program and to control their participation. Samsung will continue to support Team USA and the spirit of the Olympics in our efforts.”