Update: The Deadline to submit a claim is August 25th
Originally posted May 2023
Anyone in the U.S. who used Facebook in the last 16 years can now collect a piece of a $725 million settlement by parent company Meta tied to privacy violations — as long as they fill out a claim on a website set up to pay out money to the social network’s users.
The settlement stems from multiple lawsuits that were brought against Facebook by users who claimed that the company improperly shared their data with third-party sources such as advertisers and data brokers. The litigation began after Facebook was embroiled in a privacy scandal in 2018 with Cambridge Analytica, which scraped user data from the site as part of an effort to profile voters.
Meta denied any liability or wrongdoing under the settlement, according to the recently created class-action website. However, the agreement means that U.S. residents who used Facebook between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022, can file a monetary claim as long as they do so before August 25, 2023.
How do I claim money under the Facebook settlement?
Go to the claim website to fill out your claim
The claim asks for basic information:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your email
- Your phone
- If you resided in the U.S. between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022
- If you were a Facebook user between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022
- If you deleted your account in that period, the date range when you were a Facebook user
- Your Facebook user name
- The payment service you prefer, such as PayPal, Venmo or a prepaid Mastercard
“We pursued a settlement as it’s in the best interest of our community and shareholders,” a Meta spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch. “We are notifying people through their Facebook notifications about this settlement so they can decide whether to participate.”
How much money will I get?
That’s unclear, because the settlement amount per user will depend on how many people fill out a claim, according to the settlement website.
However, the lawyers involved in the case are likely to take a portion of the settlement as part of their fees. The claim website notes that they could be awarded up to 25% of the settlement — or $181.3 million. If they receive that much, the settlement will be reduced to $543.7 million for the Facebook users who ask for part of the claim.
Each claimant will get one point for each month when they had an “activated” Facebook account between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022. The settlement administrator will add up all the points assigned to all claimants and then divide the net settlement amount by that number.
Each claimant will receive that per point amount multiplied by the number of points they were assigned, meaning that people who have been on Facebook for shorter periods of time would likely get a lower settlement amount.
When will I get the money?
Not until later this year at the earliest.
The claims site notes that there is a final approval hearing for the settlement on September 7, when the court will decide whether to approve the deal and award attorneys’ fees and other costs. If the settlement is approved, the case could still face appeals, which would take an unknown amount of time to be resolved, the website notes.
[Source: CBS News]