You have a month left to get your share of $725 million settlement over Facebook’s violations of your privacy
Back in December, we wrote about Facebook’s Meta after the social giant agreed to pay $725 million to settle the Cambridge Analytica scandal for accessing 87 million users’ data without their consent. Now, the clock is ticking and Facebook users have less than one month left to apply for their share of t$725 million settlement over Facebook privacy violations.
If you had a U.S. Facebook account between May 2007 and December 2022, you have until Aug. 25 to enter a claim. The individual settlement payments haven’t been determined yet because they depend on the number of users who submit claims and how long each user had a Facebook account.
“The deadline for submitting thisClaim Form is August 25, 2023, at 11:59 PM PT. Please add the email, Confirmation@FacebookUserPrivacySettlement.com, to your contact list to ensure that future correspondence is delivered to your inbox,” the class action website wrote.
It all started in 2018 when Facebook gave third parties, including British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, access to users’ personal data without their consent. At the time, Facebook revealed that up to 87 million of its users had their data improperly accessed. A class action lawsuit was later brought against the company for violating users’ privacy.
After four years of legal battle, Facebook’s parent company Meta finally agreed this week to pay $725 million to resolve the lawsuit. According to a court filing disclosed in the Northern District of California, the proposed settlement would resolve a long-running case prompted by revelations in 2018 that Facebook had allowed Cambridge Analytica to access the data of Facebook users.
After the breach, Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress and issue full-page ads apologizing for the missteps. He expressed remorse, saying, “I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time. We’re now taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
The lawsuit was widened to focus on Facebook’s overall data-sharing practices. According to the law firm behind the lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that Facebook “granted numerous third parties access to their Facebook content and information without their consent and that Facebook failed to adequately monitor the third parties’ access to, and use of, that information.” Meanwhile, judges overseeing will now have to approve the settlement.
“We pursued a settlement as it’s in the best interest of our community and shareholders. Over the last three years we revamped our approach to privacy and implemented a comprehensive privacy program,” a Meta spokesperson told CNBC. The company did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement.”
In his ruling, Judge Gandhi, the lead settlement mediator, concluded that: Based upon my experience as a former federal judge and class action litigator, my knowledge of the issues in dispute, my review of the substantial factual and legal materials presented before and during the mediation, the rigor of the Parties’ negotiations, the relative strengths and weaknesses of the Parties’ positions, and the benefits achieved by the Settlement, I believe the Settlement – a non-reversionary fund of $725 million – represents a reasoned and sound resolution of this exceptionally uncertain and notable litigation.”
It is the “largest recovery ever achieved in a data privacy class action and the most Facebook has ever paid to resolve a private class action,” Keller Rohrback L.L.P, the law firm representing the plaintiffs, said in a court filing late Thursday announcing the settlement.
The $725 million fine is a drop in a bucket for the multi-billion dollar social giant. Just a year after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook also paid $5 billion to resolve a probe into its privacy practices brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The company also paid another$100 million to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) claims that it misled investors about the misuse of users’ data.