If you're a US Facebook user that's been active on the social media platform in the past 16 years, you'll be eligible to claim part of a $725 million settlement – as long as you file a claim before this Friday's deadline.
Facebook's parent company Meta agreed to payout this sum after being found guilty of leaking data to third parties without the consent of its users, in an investigation kickstarted by the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
If you're considering making a claim, we discuss the details of Facebook's settlement, including how much compensation you could be paid, when you could get it, and how to make a claim.
The Facts Behind Facebook's Multi-Million Settlement
Meta, a company with a somewhat patchy privacy record, has agreed to pay up $725 million to US users to settle a slew of lawsuits brought against the platform.
The litigation began after Facebook was involved in a global privacy scandal where third-party app Cambridge Analytica illicitly obtained the data of 87 million Facebook profiles. Types of information gathered varied but included birth dates, contact details, and even private messages.
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Data acquired by Cambridge Analytica was used to provide political assistance to Donald Trump's and Ted Cruz's presidential campaigns, and the now-defunct firm has since claimed its interference helped pave the way for Trump's 2017 victory.
Meta denied any liability or wrongdoing under the privacy settlement, according to the class action website. However, to resolve proceedings, the Silicon Valley company agreed to pay out a multi-million dollar sum to its US user base.
How to Cash In On Facebook's $775M Settlement
Interested in claiming your entitlement? Read on to learn more about how to make a claim.
Am I eligible for Facebook's settlement?
If you're a US resident that's used the platform between May 24 2007, and December 22 2022, you will be eligible to make a claim.
How do I make a claim?
To fill out your claim online, go to the Settlement Website and click on “Submit Claim”. You can access and edit your claim in the future by providing the Notice ID and Confirmation Code provided at the top of the notice.
If you want to make a claim manually, you can print out the claim and mail it to this address: Facebook Consumer Privacy User Profile Litigation, c/o Settlement Administrator, 1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
What information do I need to provide?
As part of the claim process, you'll need to provide the following information:
- Your full name
- Your address
- Your email address
- Your phone number
- Your Facebook name
- Whether or not you lived in the US and was a Facebook user between May 24 2007 and December 22 2002
- The payment type you'd prefer (e.g. PayPal, Venmo, Mastercard)
What's the deadline for Facebook's settlement?
The deadline to file a claim is on August 25 2023. Claims filed after this date will not be processed.
How much money could I receive?
Since the settlement amount for each individual is dictated by how many people fill in the claim, it's not clear how much compensation you could receive.
As a rough benchmark, Google users that claimed a part of the company's recent $23 million settlement are expected to receive anywhere from $7 to $8. Due to the size of Facebook's settlement, its likely claimants will receive larger payouts in comparison.
What's more, if you've been on Facebook for a long period of time, you'll be entitled to more compensation than users that have spent a shorter time on the platform.
When could I receive compensation?
According to a FAQ sheet on the settlement website, payments will be distributed “as soon as possible if the Court grants Final Approval of the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved.”
No official date has been released, but claimants should expect to receive compensation no sooner than September 7 as this is when the final approval hearing takes place.