OAKLAND — In spite of stiff objections from a class action watchdog group, a federal judge approved a settlement Facebook reached in a case accusing the social media giant of inappropriately scanning users’ private messages for URL links.

Lawyers at the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Class Action Fairness labeled the no-cash deal “cynical” in court papers filed earlier this year. At a hearing before U.S. District Chief Judge Phyllis Hamilton Wednesday, CCAF’s William Chamberlain said the settlement offered little more to consumers than a 22-word statement set to be posted on a seldom-viewed Facebook help page. Chamberlain also objected to the more than $3.8 million in fees and costs the plaintiffs’ legal team requested for its work.

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