In a landmark class action lawsuit settlement earlier this year, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has agreed to pay a staggering $725 million to compensate users whose personal data was shared with third parties without their consent. The most notable third party involved was Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm that provided support for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. Despite the payout, Meta denies any wrongdoing in the matter.
As part of the settlement, current and former Facebook users in the United States have been given a unique opportunity to claim their piece of the massive settlement sum. However, time is running out, as the deadline for filing a claim is set for August 25, 2023.
The lawsuit revolves around the allegation that Facebook allowed unauthorized access to users' personal data, leading to concerns over privacy and data security. Cambridge Analytica, in particular, came under intense scrutiny for its use of the acquired data during the 2016 presidential campaign, prompting an outcry from users and privacy advocates alike.
To be eligible for a cash payment from the settlement, individuals must have been active Facebook users in the United States between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022, inclusive. This lengthy time span encompasses a vast number of users who might have had their data exposed during the specified period.
The process of claiming a portion of the settlement is relatively straightforward.
To file online, you’ll need to click here, answer a few questions about yourself, and then decide how you’d like to be paid (prepaid gift card, direct deposit, PayPal, etc.).
For those who deleted their Facebook accounts during the stated period, there is still hope to receive compensation. While their payments might be slightly smaller, eligibility extends to ex-Facebook users who had active accounts during the specified timeframe.
The exact payout amount for each individual claimant depends, in part, on the length of time their Facebook account was active during the affected period. Those who had more prolonged and consistent usage of the platform may receive larger settlements compared to infrequent users.