Facebook users who had accounts from May 2007 to December 2022 can now apply for the $725M Facebook lawsuit settlement claim. After a class action suit following a Facebook data breach, the judge presiding over the case had ordered Facebook to pay eligible users a whopping $725 million as part of the settlements. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, had to accept to pay this amount after they were found guilty of providing some users' data to a political movement in the United States.
The personal information of about 87 million users was accessed, and they were shared with Cambridge Analytica, a former British political consulting firm used by the 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign. In compliance with the court order, a portal has been set up where eligible users can claim the $725 million. Users have until the 25th of August to finish with the submission. When filling up the forms, you will have to enter your name, birthday, contact information, addresses, Facebook handle, and payment information.
The Lawsuit Against Facebook
Facebook was hit with a lawsuit for its actions in 2018. The tech giant was accused of using and sharing the data of those considered the target of the 2016 US presidential elections. This data was collected by Facebook and shared with another company named Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm used by the Trump campaign. Cambridge Analytica filed for bankruptcy in the same 2018. The class action lawsuit against Facebook stems from the fact that the social media platform shared some users' data without their consent.
Facebook, on its own part, has denied the allegations, but it would still be going ahead to pay the fine against them. Meta spokesperson Dina El-Kassaby Luce said they agreed to pay for the settlement just for the best interest of their users. According to Luce, the payment was "in the best interest of its community and shareholders." Meta also promised they had changed their approach to privacy, hence their decision to lay for the settlement.
Meta spokesperson Dina El-Kassaby Luce (Twitter)
Over 250 Million People Eligible for the Settlement Funds
According to the plaintiff's lawyers, they speculate that those who would be eligible for the Facebook data breach settlement could be as many as 250 million people. But then noted that the number of people eligible for the settlement funds would depend on those able to make a valid claim of a privacy breach. "The amount of the recovery is particularly striking given that Facebook argued that its users consented to the practices at issue, and that the class suffered no actual damages," the plaintiff's lawyers said in the court filing.
Since Facebook's data leak to Cambridge Analytica, much scrutiny and attention have been channelled to the social media platform to ensure they are held accountable. Since several investigations have begun against the company, many findings have also been reported. Many of them led to the company receiving fines. The company's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, gave high-profile testimonies in 2020 before he agreed to pay a $5 billion fine. He also succumbed to paying about $100 million to resolve the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission case against them.