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Facebook users have one week left to apply for their piece of the $725 million privacy violation settlement.
To do so, you just have to fill out a claim online or mail it to the settlement administrator.
Why did Meta agree to a payout?
In December 2022, Meta agreed to pay $725 million to settle the class action over sharing user data with third parties without consent. However, it still denied any wrongdoing.
It all started with the famous Facebook–Cambridge Analytica scandal in which the firm harvested data from 87 million users. It also used the information to support political campaigns in the US.
Following global outrage, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) started probing into the network’s data-sharing practices. It stated that Facebook violated the terms of the agreement by failing to notify users about data sharing.
The case soon included other instances of the platform granting access to third parties.
Finally, in 2019, Facebook agreed to pay a record fee of $5 billion to the FTC. Later, it also agreed to a $100 million settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Now, it’s time for the users whose privacy the company has violated to receive compensation.
How will the payments proceed?
Facebook users who file the claim will receive their share of the $725 million fee. The deadline for doing so is August 25, 2023, at 11:59 PM PT.
Anyone who has used Facebook between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022, has the right to partake.
Furthermore, users who have deleted their accounts at some point can also receive compensation. Still, they might receive less depending on how long they were active. It’s also possible to file a claim for a deceased person.
However, users with multiple accounts won’t receive larger payments. You can only file one claim.
Another thing that dictates how much money you’ll receive are lawyer fees. According to experts, they could get up to 25% or $181.3 million. That leaves $543.7 million for Meta to distribute to Facebook users.
Additionally, the settlement administrator will assign points to each claimant. They will then add up all the points and divide the net settlement amount by that number.
So, those who have been on Facebook for a shorter period of time will receive fewer points.
Scott Dodson, a professor of law at UC Law San Francisco, estimates the higher end of the payments will be in triple digits. He also believes most users will receive less than $100.
It’s still unclear when Meta will start issuing payments, as the final settlement hearing is scheduled for September 7.
The soonest it can start sending them out is after the court date.
Facebook users who wanted to sue the company separately had the right to opt out by July 26.
How to file a claim on the Facebook class action lawsuit?
If you want to file a claim, you can do so on the special website Meta created for the settlement.
The process is quite simple and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
All you have to do is provide some basic personal information, such as your:
- Phone number.
You’ll also need to confirm your US residence and that you had an account between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022.
Additionally, you’ll need to provide your Facebook username. You can find it in a few simple steps:
- Open your Facebook account.
- Select Account.
- Click Settings and Privacy.
- Choose Settings.
- Open Meta Accounts Center (left end of the screen)
- Find the profile you want to submit the file for and click on it.
- Click Username.
After you visit the Facebook user privacy settlement site and submit a claim, all you have to do is wait. If you change your address in the meantime, you’ll have to update it to receive the payment.
Who’s eligible for Facebook settlement claims?
Unfortunately, the settlement doesn’t cover Facebook users outside of the US.
This may disappoint many as Google searches for terms such as Facebook user privacy settlement Philippines have exploded recently.
Meta employees, affiliate companies and subsidiaries, and plaintiff attorneys are also ineligible for claims. The same goes for the special masters, mediators, and judges working on the case.