Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, pictured here at the F8 conference in 2019, had been talking about bringing more privacy to Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. He’s now CEO of its parent company Meta. (Source: Flickr/Anthony Quintano)

Facebook Agrees to Settle Cambridge Analytica Suit from 2018 for $725 Million

If you have not heard yet, there may be a check heading your way from Facebook  That is if you had a Facebook account open between May 24, 2007, to Dec. 22, 2022. And if you file a claim for it.

Current or former Facebook users can now file for compensation as part of the $725 million settlement reached in a lawsuit that alleged the social media company, owned by Meta, shared users’ data without their consent. If you recall the Cambridge Analytica debacle where millions of Facebook users had their information shared without consent back in 2018.

In the last quarter of 2022, there were 266 million monthly active Facebook users in the United States and Canada, according to company data. The number of people eligible for payment in the data privacy settlement includes those who resided in the United States and used the platform during the years between 2007 and 2022. There is a pretty good chance you were one of them at least for a while.

How much money will be sent back to users is still in question. Mainly it depends on how many people sign up to file for a claim on this lawsuit according to a piece from the washingtonpost.com and writer Kelsey Abeles

This is not the first class-action data privacy case Facebook has faced. In 2021, an Illinois judge approved a settlement in which Facebook agreed to pay $650 million to resolve a class-action suit alleging that the company used users’ biometric data without permission. Nearly 1.6 million users were affected and eligible for at least $345 each, according to the Associated Press.

It’s unlikely that will be the amount for claimants for this class action suit. In December, Keller Rohrback, one of the law firms representing the plaintiffs, called the agreement

“the largest settlement ever of a privacy class action in the United States.” Meta said the settlement was “in the best interest of our community and shareholders,” and that the company has “revamped our approach to privacy.”

News in 2018 that the data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica had taken data from up to 87 million Facebook users through a personality quiz app sparked the lawsuit. It grew to encompass several cases — which were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in 2018 — and address broader concerns about the company’s data privacy practices. Plaintiffs alleged that Facebook granted third parties access to users’ content and information without their consent and failed to monitor how it was used. Meta has denied any wrongdoing but agreed to the settlement in December to avoid the costs and risks of continuing the case.

Tens of millions of users are eligible to submit a claim for payment from the social media giant, according to a recently launched class-action settlement website.

You are included in this Settlement as a Settlement Class Member if you were a Facebook user in the United States between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022, inclusive. In the lawsuit, Facebook, Inc. Consumer Privacy User Profile Litigation, Case No. 3:18-md-02843-VC (N.D. Cal.). Defendant denies that it violated any law.

The agreement was given a preliminary okay by a federal judge at the end of March. A final approval hearing is set for September.

read more at washingtonpost.com