Meta agreed to settle a lawsuit claiming that Facebook shared user’s data with third parties, including Cambridge Analytica, during Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. According to the Associated Press report, the firm harvested 87 million data from Facebook users.
Many U.S. Facebook users between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022, can now get a piece from the massive $725 million settlement.
According to the plaintiffs, Facebook’s ad targeting options allowed employers to exclude certain groups of people from seeing job ads, thus limiting job opportunities for those groups.
Facebook denied any wrongdoing but agreed to settle the lawsuit for $725 million to avoid further litigation and to invest in diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Lawsuits like this can mean big bucks for lawyers. Still, after administrative costs, payouts, and other fees, most Facebook users will get a tiny fraction of the millions with the potential to receive more based on the severity of the harm caused by the misuse of your data.
If you are one of the Facebook users affected by the platform’s exploitation of user data, then you may have a claim to a share of the $725 million settlement the company has agreed to pay. In this exposition, we will lead you through the procedure for claiming your piece of the settlement.
What Can You Expect to Receive?
The amount of money you can expect depends on various factors, including the number of eligible claimants and the amount of funds allocated to each claimant. By submitting a claim, you can help hold Facebook accountable for its actions and receive compensation for any harm you might have suffered. But you don’t need to know if a third-party app accessed your data to get a piece of the settlement.
Step 1: Ascertain Your Eligibility
First and foremost, you need to determine if you are eligible to acquire a fraction of the settlement. According to the Facebook User Privacy Settlement website, eligible users fulfill the following conditions:
- Residing in the United States and having a Facebook account between May 2007 and December 2022
- Having data accessed by third-party applications without their consent
- Having data accessed through Facebook’s search tools or API
If you meet these requirements, you may have a claim for a fraction of the settlement. However, remember that the sum you receive will hinge on several factors, including the number of eligible claims submitted.
Step 2: Submit Your Claim
If you want to assert your right to a portion of the settlement, you must file a claim on the official settlement website. Be sure to act swiftly. The final settlement approval hearing is on September 7, but Facebook users can now file their claims. Facebook will distribute the payment after the court’s approval.
To submit a claim online, click here and answer questions about yourself, and then decide whether you want the payment using direct deposit, prepaid gift card, or PayPal.
To file by mail, print some forms and send them to the Philadelphia settlement administrator.
You need to submit the form by August 25 to qualify.
Step 3: Await Payment
Once you have submitted your claim, wait for your payment to be processed.
The amount you receive will depend on several factors, including the number of eligible claims. However, you can expect to receive at least $345 if you qualify.
Step 4: Remain Vigilant About Your Data Privacy
While obtaining a fraction of the Facebook settlement can provide some relief for those impacted by the misuse of user data, it is crucial to remain vigilant about your data privacy moving forward. Be sure to review the privacy settings on your Facebook account frequently and only share personal information with trusted applications and services.
Furthermore, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to protect your online activity and prevent unauthorized access to your data. By taking these measures, you can help ensure your personal information remains secure and safeguarded from potential misuse.
If you are eligible to obtain a portion of the Facebook settlement, you can start signing up this week.
Written by Janet Grace Ortigas
ABC 7 News: Facebook users can now apply for their share of $725 million data privacy settlement. Here’s how; by Clare Duffy, CNNWire
Insider: Claim your piece of the $725 million Facebook settlement if you used the platform during the last 15 years; by Aaron McDade
The Hill: Judge tentatively OKs $725M Facebook settlement: How to apply for a payout; by By Alix Martichoux