If you used Facebook between May 2007 and December 2022, the social-media giant may owe you some money.
A California judge preliminarily approved a $725 million settlement between Facebook parent Meta Platforms META, -1.01% and users who say the company allowed their data to be viewed or shared by third parties, notably Cambridge Analytica, without their consent.
The judge’s approval was a precursor to the final approval hearing, which will take place in September, but people can begin submitting claims now to potentially get a cash payment.
Who does the Facebook settlement apply to?
The $725 million settlement applies to anybody who was a Facebook user in the U.S. between May 24, 2007 and Dec. 22, 2022. The class-action form simply states that people who were Facebook users during that period are eligible. It does not mention any required level of activity on the account.
It’s unclear if someone with multiple Facebook accounts would be entitled to more money than a person with a single account. To find out if you are included in the settlement group, you can email info@FacebookUserPrivacySettlement.com
When is the deadline to submit a claim?
The claim form must be submitted no later than Aug. 25, 2023.
The form can be completed online or downloaded and mailed to the settlement administrator at the following address: Facebook Consumer Privacy User Profile Litigation, c/o Settlement Administrator, 1650 Arch St., Suite 2210, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
How much money will you get?
As is typical with class-action lawsuits, the amount an individual will receive is dependent on a variety of factors.
The settlement form says the payment will vary based on how many people submit claims. Additionally, administrative costs and attorneys’ fees will be deducted from the settlement fund prior to its release.
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“Settlement payments will be distributed as soon as possible if the Court grants Final Approval of the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved,” the claim website notes.
How many people does this affect?
Because Facebook has so many users and because of the 16-year time frame for this settlement, there are millions of people who could submit a claim.
According to data compiled by Statista, total Facebook users in the U.S. numbered roughly 240 million in 2022.
What has Meta said about the lawsuit?
In December 2022, Meta agreed in principle to pay the settlement. At the time, a Meta spokesman said settling the class-action suit was “in the best interest of our community and shareholders.” The company added that it had revamped its privacy approach and “implemented a comprehensive privacy program.”
Despite agreeing to pay the settlement, “Meta expressly denies any liability or wrongdoing,” according to the lawsuit website.
Representatives for Meta didn’t immediately respond to MarketWatch’s request for comment on this story.
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The settlement comes as Meta is set to announce another round of layoffs this week.
Meta shares were down 0.95% in the early afternoon on Wednesday and have gained nearly 80% year to date, compared with the S&P 500’s SPX, -0.01% 8.11% gain in 2023.
This article was originally published by Marketwatch.com. Read the original article here.