Facebook users are getting a $725 million lawsuit settlement, and the social platform has been sending messages letting them know. If you've spotted an email or in-app notification about the settlement, don't worry: It's not a scam.
Anyone in the US who has held a Facebook account between May 2007 and December 2022 is eligible for a payout in the wake of a legal case about Facebook data breach allegations. That's a huge range that encompasses millions.
Here's what the notifications look like, how much money you might be eligible for, and how to get it.
Facebook's Letting Everyone Know
Facebook's owner, Meta, is doing its court-ordered best to let everyone know about their chance to receive settlement money, and that involves both emails and notifications on their platform itself. Here's what to expect an alert to look like:
The full message explains that the issue was about claims of Facebook practicing poor data security, sharing massive amounts of private data without properly monitoring how it was used.
Meta also notes that it “den[ies] any wrongdoing.” As it should — it just settled for $725 million to ensure its ability to make that claim was not legally challenged.
How to Get the Facebook Settlement
To actually have a chance at getting a sum of money, you'll need to fill out an online form, available from the settlement administrator.
The claims website will look like this. It's not a scam, either, despite the text-heavy appearance of the website — just fill out your personal information, including your official Facebook user name, and pick the best payment processor.
You can find the website at facebookuserprivacysettlement.com/#submit-claim
What's the Facebook Settlement for?
In 2018, allegations became public that Facebook had allowed political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to access the personal data of around 87 million users.
A massive data leak like that is a big deal, and the moment was a bit of a turning point for public trust in both Facebook and many other social platforms.
How Much Money Could I Get?
We can't say exactly how much of a payout each individual will get from the settlement, but some predictions put the amount at a little under $7 in total. It's better than nothing.
The actual amount will come out of the net settlement ($725 million minus administrative and legal costs, which could be 25%), and be assigned to each user on a points system. Each month that a user held their account will give them one point. The net settlement will be divided by all the points.
So, the longer you held an account, the more you'll get.
For everyone who relies on Facebook for keeping in touch with family and friends or for running a business, however, a single-digit dollar amount definitely won't be enough to turn them away from the now-ingrained service.