Do You Use Facebook? Meta May Owe You Money

Facebook under magnifying glass

Facebook users who had an account anytime between May 2007 and December 2022 might be among the tens of millions of users who are entitled to a cash payment from the social media platform.

Present and past Facebook users can now apply for compensation as part of the $725 million settlement deal between Facebook parent company Meta and users claiming the social media platform shared their data with third parties without their consent.

The Washington Post reports that any individual who has used Facebook in the last 16 years can now submit their claim according to the recently launched class-action settlement website.

The Largest Recovery Ever

In December, Meta agreed to settle a privacy class action suit brought in the aftermath of the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal. It emerged that Cambridge Analytica, a data-mining firm used by the Donald Trump presidential campaign, had taken data from up to 87 million Facebook users via a personality quiz in order to target voters.

Following the scandal, numerous lawsuits claimed Facebook shared or otherwise made user data accessible without permission to third parties such as app developers, business partners, advertisers, and data brokers and failed to monitor what was done with the information.

Meta did not admit wrongdoing and maintains that its users consented to the practices and suffered no actual damages.

However, the company agreed to pay the massive $725 million settlement “to avoid the cost and risks of a trial.” A Meta spokesperson also said that the company had revamped it approach to privacy.

The settlement is the largest recovery ever in a data privacy class action and the most Facebook has paid to settle a private class action lawsuit.

Have You Used Facebook in the Past 16 Years?

Anyone who had a Facebook account between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022, in the U.S. is included in the settlement class and can file for compensation.

According to court documents, around 250 million to 280 million people may be eligible for payments as part of the class action settlement.

The settlement payment amount to individuals will depend on the number of people who come forward with valid claims and how long they had been a Facebook user during the eligibility period.

Online claims can be submitted on the website by 23:59 (Pacific Time) on August 25, while mailed claims can be filed via a printed form and must be postmarked by August 25.

The settlement comes amid heightening troubles and tens of thousands of layoffs for Meta. A decade ago, Facebook was the primary platform for advertising a photography business. But today, Facebook faces steep competition from TikTok and tightening privacy rules from Apple that restrict advertising targeting.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.