Facebook users in the United States have a significant development to look forward to. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has reached a $725 million settlement related to privacy violations. This settlement offers an opportunity for users who have used Facebook in the past 16 years to claim a portion of the settlement amount. The lawsuit leading to this settlement stems from multiple lawsuits filed against Facebook by users who claimed that the company improperly shared their personal data with third-party entities, such as advertisers and data brokers. These legal battles were sparked by the infamous Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal in 2018, which involved the unauthorized deletion of user data for voter profiling purposes.
The Claim Process
Under Facebook’s User Privacy Settlement, eligible users can file a claim to receive a portion of the settlement amount. To be eligible, users must have resided in the United States and used Facebook between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022. They must also confirm their residence in the United States during the specified period and their status as Facebook users during this period.
If a user deleted their Facebook account during the eligible time frame, they must specify the date range during which they were an active user. Applicants are asked to provide their Facebook username and select their preferred payment service: PayPal, Venmo, or a prepaid Mastercard. The claim form can be completed quickly, taking only a few minutes.
Users can find their Facebook username by referring to the Facebook website and navigating to their account settings. They can locate the “Username” section there. On the mobile app, the username can be found in the profile settings, under the “Your Profile Link” section. If a user has multiple Facebook accounts, they can claim for the duration of their active account. However, additional compensation cannot be claimed for multiple accounts used simultaneously.
Filing a Claim on Behalf of a Deceased Person
In the unfortunate case of a deceased person, filing a claim on their behalf is possible. The claim must be submitted using the deceased person’s name and details in the “Your Facebook Account” section of the claim form. To change the name of the beneficiary or the claimant’s estate, claimants must provide the Settlement Administrator with a request and supporting documentation, such as a copy of the death certificate. This request can be sent via email through the secure portal provided on the website or by mail to the given address.
The legitimacy of the Facebook settlement was confirmed by Meta, emphasizing that the settlement is in the best interests of their community and shareholders. The amount awarded to each user depends on the number of claimants participating in the process. It is worth noting that the lawyers involved in the case may receive up to 25% of the settlement as part of their fees. If this amount is awarded, the total settlement will be reduced to $543.7 million for the plaintiffs.
The precise amount each applicant will receive is currently uncertain, as it will depend on the total number of points awarded to applicants. Each month of active Facebook use between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022, contributes one point to the calculation. The Settlement Administrator will divide the Net Settlement Amount by the total Points awarded to all Claimants, resulting in an amount per Point. Each claimant will receive a settlement payment equal to the amount per point multiplied by the points awarded.
Final approval of the settlement is scheduled for September 7. At this point, the court will assess the agreement, including attorney fees and other costs. The process could be extended if there are appeals. However, once the settlement receives final approval and all appeals have been resolved, the distribution of settlement payments will proceed expeditiously.
Opting Out of the Settlement
Facebook users who want to retain their right to file a separate lawsuit against the company have the option to opt out of the settlement. To unsubscribe, users must submit a request online or by mail by July 26. The request must include their name, current address, signature, a statement indicating their intention to be excluded from the settlement, and the URL of their Facebook account.
Users who choose not to file a claim or opt out of the settlement will lose their right to file or pursue legal action related to the legal issues involved in the case. Additionally, they will not receive any portion of the settlement funds.
There are certain exclusions to the settlement. Individuals who work for Meta, its affiliates or subsidiaries, as well as plaintiff’s attorneys and their employees, are not eligible to participate. The special master, mediators, and judges involved in the case are also excluded.
Q: Who is eligible to file a claim under Facebook’s User Privacy Settlement?
A: Users who have used Facebook between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022, and resided in the United States during that period are eligible to file a claim.
Q: How can I find my Facebook username?
A: To find your Facebook username, you can go to your account settings on the Facebook website or profile settings on the mobile app.
Q: What payment services can I choose from to receive my settlement amount?
A: PayPal, Venmo, and a prepaid Mastercard are the payment services available to choose from.
Q: Can I file a claim on behalf of a deceased person?
A: Yes, you can file a claim on behalf of a deceased person by providing their name and details in the claim form.
Q: What happens if I choose to opt out of the settlement?
A: If you choose to opt out of the settlement, you retain your right to file a separate lawsuit against Facebook, but you will not receive any portion of the settlement funds.
Q: Are users outside the United States eligible to participate in the settlement?
A: No, the settlement only applies to users who resided in the United States between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-M1AtrxztU&pp=ygUcQSBDaGFuY2UgdG8gQ2xhaW0gWW91ciBTaGFyZQ%3D%3D