If you were a Facebook user in the United States from 2007 to 2022, you have until Friday to join the $725 million privacy settlement. The settlement funds will come from Meta, the parent company of Facebook, which reached an agreement in December to resolve multiple lawsuits. These lawsuits accused the company of improperly sharing user data with third parties and other violations.
The legal action was triggered by the 2018 scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting firm that obtained personal data from approximately 87 million Facebook users, mostly in the U.S. While Meta denies any wrongdoing, they opted for a settlement to avoid the costs and risks of a trial. The company claims that settling the case is in the best interest of its community and shareholders. They have been actively notifying affected Facebook users about the settlement.
To make a claim, you must submit your application online before the deadline, which is 11:59 p.m. PT on Friday. However, if you prefer to mail your claim, ensure that your letter is postmarked by the same day.
Who Can Participate in the Facebook Settlement?
A wide range of Facebook users in the U.S. are eligible to submit claims before the deadline, regardless of whether they still have an active account. The settlement covers all users who had a Facebook account between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022.
How to File a Claim for the Facebook Settlement
The claim process is straightforward and can be completed online at facebookuserprivacysettlement.com. You will need to provide contact information, such as your name, address, and email. The application will include questions about your residency in the U.S. during the relevant years and whether you had a Facebook account at that time. If you deleted your account, you must specify the dates when you were a user.
Additionally, you will need to provide one or more identifiers associated with your Facebook account, such as an email, phone number, or username. Note that even if you had multiple accounts during the covered period, you are only eligible for one payment.
Finally, you can choose from several payment options, including PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, direct deposit, check, or a prepaid Mastercard.
How Much Money Will You Receive?
The exact amount each claimant will receive is uncertain. It depends on the number of successful claims and the deductions for administrative costs and fees. If all eligible Facebook users make a claim, the payout per person is expected to be less than $5 due to the platform’s vast user base. However, the fewer people who apply, the larger the share for each claimant.
Longtime Facebook users have the opportunity to receive a higher settlement amount. Points will be awarded to claimants based on the number of months they had an account during the 15-year period. The distribution of the settlement funds will consider these accumulated points.
When Will You Receive Your Facebook Settlement Money?
A final approval hearing for the settlement is scheduled for September 7, approximately two weeks after the submission deadline. Pending court approval and the resolution of any potential appeals, payments will be distributed as soon as possible.
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For more information about the Facebook settlement, visit Garrity Traina.